SB 374 - This act modifies provisions relating to the management and maintenance of museums.
STATE AUDITOR: The State Auditor will have the power to audit any museum in the same manner as an agency of the state. The State Auditor will have the duty to audit any museum district, subdistrict, or commission when he or she deems it necessary, proper, or expedient. The museum district must pay the costs of the audit. (Section 29.215)
CLAIMS AGAINST A MUSEUM: A lender or claimant may bring a civil action for damages for property injured or lost while on loan to a museum. Any party to an action may demand a jury trial. The court may grant relief, including a permanent or temporary injunction or a temporary restraining order, and may award actual and punitive damages, and may award court costs and reasonable attorney fees to the prevailing lender or claimant. This act changes the time in which an action for damages can be brought against a museum for injury to or loss of property to be two years from the date the museum gives the lender or claimant notice of the injury or loss or five years from the date that the injury or loss is capable of being ascertained by the lender or claimant, whichever occurs earlier. This act repeals a provision specifying that a museum is not liable, in the absence of a court order, for returning property to the original lender even if a claimant other than the lender has filed a notice of intent to preserve an interest in property. In addition, these provisions cannot preempt or limit any other rights of action in law or equity that a lender of claimant may have against a museum. (Section 184.116 & 184.122)
MUSEUM RECORDS: Each museum must maintain a record for each item in its possession or collection for as long as such item is in the museum's possession and for at least twenty-five years thereafter. The records must include all documentation related to the accession and origin of the item. Museums must maintain a directory of information, as described in the act, that is accessible to the general public during regular business hours. (Section 184.119)
MUSEUM DISTRICTS AND OFFICERS: This act changes a defunct statutory reference to the non-existent chapter 296 to chapter 213 so that museum districts and their officers are subject to the Missouri Human Rights Law. (Section 184.384)
MERCHANDISING PRACTICES: This act modifies certain merchandising practice laws. Property and loans will be included in the definition of "merchandise." This act expands what is deemed to be an unlawful practice by including certain actions using deception or fraud that involve property, financial assistance or other things of value, including the promise or grant of any money or property of any kind or value. The terms "charitable organization" and "charitable purpose" are modified to include museum districts.
This act is similar to HB 405 (2013).