SB 0858 Revises the standard of proof for violations of the Sunshine Law
LR Number:3809L.09C Fiscal Note:3809-09
Committee:Financial and Governmental Organization
Last Action:05/12/00 - In Conference Journal page:
Title:HCS SB 858
Effective Date:August 28, 2000
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Current Bill Summary

CCS/HS/HCS/SB 858 - This act revises the standard of proof for violations of the Sunshine Law and modifies other provisions of the law regarding open records and meetings.

SECTION 166.456 - All personally identifiable information regarding participants and beneficiaries of accounts within the Missouri Higher Education Savings Program shall be confidential. Disclosure of such information shall be restricted to the purposes directly connected with the program.

SECTION 197.760 - PUBLIC HOSPITALS RECORDS AND MEETINGS - This act closes portions of hospital records and meetings in certain situations. It provides that a governing body or related body of a public hospital may close records or meetings that pertain to payment amounts and methodologies of contract proposals with health carriers, proposed strategic plans to develop new health services or facilities, and hospital contracts with physicians regarding compensation. This act allows a public hospital to secretly plan to build or expand a facility but would require a public meeting on the matter 30 days before a final decision is made. Information about the parties involved and the duration of such contracts will, however, be public record and physician compensation amounts will be included in the organization's financial statements. Contracts entered into by a public hospital shall become public records 18 months following the execution of the contract. This provision shall only apply to contracts executed on or after August 28, 2000. The disclosure of any other records will be governed by Chapter 610, RSMo. This act is similar to SB 930 and HB 1718 (2000).

SECTION 610.010 - This act includes the University of Missouri within the definition of public governmental body.

SECTION 610.015 - Any votes taken during a closed or open meeting shall be taken by roll call, except on unanimous votes of the members present.

SECTION 610.021 - This act clarifies that votes taken by a public body in a closed meeting regarding legal actions, the acquiring of real property, or personnel matters must be taken by roll call vote and the results of the vote be made public.

This act also makes financial records, business and marketing plans and other proprietary information submitted as part of a sealed bid for certification as a minority or woman- owned business closed under the Sunshine Law.

This act also extends the electric utility exception to open records to December 31, 2002.

SECTION 610.022 - This act imposes a civil penalty for violating the Sunshine Law of not more than $500. The current law requires a purposeful violation. This act also imposes a civil penalty for a knowing violation of the Sunshine Law up to $5,000, but not to exceed 5% of the public entity's annual budget. In assessing the penalty, the court must consider the size of the jurisdiction, the seriousness of the offense and whether the public governmental body has violated the Sunshine Law previously. In the event of multiple defendants for the same violation, the aggregate for the penalties assessed shall not exceed the limits in this subsection.