SB 0144 Revises the sunshine law
LR Number:0495S.01I Fiscal Note:0495-01
Committee:Financial and Governmental Organization, Veterans' Affairs & Elections
Last Action:01/21/03 - Second Read and Referred S Financial & Governmental Journal page:S105
Organization, Veterans' Affairs & Elections Committee
Effective Date:August 28, 2003
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Current Bill Summary

SB 144 - This act revises the sunshine law in the following manner:

- Includes a bi-state development agency in the definition of "quasi-public governmental body";

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

- 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;

- No vote may be closed without an affirmative vote of the body;

- Requires production of public records, and the fees for copying shall not exceed the amounts charged by the Secretary of State;

- Authorizes the Attorney General to attempt to resolve disputers 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;

- Allows civil penalty if governmental body has "knowingly" violated act, and increases the penalty from $500 to $2500.

Provisions of this act are similar to SB 709 (2002).