SB 0019 Revises the standard of proof and other aspects of the Sunshine Law
LR Number:0375S.05I Fiscal Note:0375-05
Committee:Financial and Governmental Organization
Last Action:02/19/01 - SCS Voted Do Pass S Financial & Gov. Organization Journal page:
Veterans' Affairs & Elections Committee (0375S.06C)
Effective Date:August 28, 2001
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Current Bill Summary

SCS/SB 19 - This act revises the standard of proof regarding violations of the Sunshine Law and extends the exception for disclosure of municipal utility records from the Sunshine Law until December 31, 2003, or until legislation authorizing electric utility restructuring is passed, whichever is sooner.

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, except for actions to obtain delinquent collections from employers regarding MOST accounts.

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.

The act also extends the exception for disclosure of municipal utility records from the Sunshine Law to December 31, 2003, if regulatory restructuring of electric utilities for the purpose of allowing retail competition is not enacted. The Revisor of Statutes will determine and indicate if this has occurred.

SECTION 610.027 - This act imposes a civil penalty for knowingly violating the Sunshine Law of not more than $2500. 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.

The act authorizes the Attorney General to attempt to resolve disputes or complaints, and to review open and closed records, except for privileged communications. Closed records shall remain closed, unless the Attorney General determines that closure was unlawful, in which case he shall be entitled to use the records in an action to enforce the Sunshine Law.

This act is similar to SB 375.