SB 1135
Modifies provisions relating to the Missouri Sunshine Law
LR Number:
Last Action:
3/10/2022 - Second Read and Referred S Governmental Accountability and Fiscal Oversight Committee
Journal Page:
Calendar Position:
Effective Date:
August 28, 2022

Current Bill Summary

SB 1135 - This act modifies provisions regarding the Missouri Sunshine Law. The act modifies the definitions of "public business", "public governmental body", "public meeting", and "public record" and adds a definition for "transitory records". "Transitory records" shall not be considered a public record. In construing the Sunshine Law, the act provides that it shall be liberally construed only to resolve an ambiguity where the plain and ordinary meaning of the words cannot be imputed by the court.

Bases for closing records and meetings are modified to include certain records relating to nonjudicial mental or physical health proceedings as well as records relating to operational guidelines, policies, and plans regarding responses to critical incidents. Existing or proposed security protocols of property owned by a public body may be closed under the act. Records containing any residential address, personal phone number, or personal email address of any employee, customer, or constituent of a public body or applicant for employment or appointment to the public body may be closed. Public bodies may close records containing business or personal addresses, telephone numbers, or email addresses of elected or appointed officials, dignitaries, foreign leaders, or other individuals if the public body determines that disclosure would impair the body's ability to protect the security or safety of persons or property. The act authorizes the closure of inter-agency or intra-agency memoranda or letters that would not be available by state or federal law to a party other than an agency in litigation with the agency, provided that this exception shall not apply to records created twenty-five years or more before the date the records were requested. Also, a public governmental body is authorized to close records that are related to email addresses and telephone numbers submitted to a public governmental body by individuals or entities for the sole purpose of receiving electronic or other communications. The public body may also close records of utility usage and bill records for customers of public utilities unless the customer requests them or authorizes their release.

Currently, requests for records must be acted upon with three business days. This act changes this requirement to five business days and conditions the earliest possible date that the records will be available upon receipt of payment. If the custodian of records requests payment of a fee prior to providing the earliest date the records will be available, the public body shall consider the request fulfilled if payment is not received on or before the date requested by the public body or if the requester fails to respond within thirty days to the body's request for payment.

Where a single record contains both open and closed records, the public body shall make a redacted version of such record available. Time required to separate out exempt from nonexempt material may constitute research and staff time for which a fee can be collected.

The act modifies the fees that may be collected for research time in fulfilling a records request. The fee may include the hourly rate of the lowest paid staff attorney of the public body able to fulfill the request or the attorney hired by the body if an attorney was used to research or review the records. The fee shall include all costs incurred by the body to respond to a request. The body shall produce the copies or provide access using employees of the body, or individuals hired by the body, that result in the lowest amount of charges for search, research, and duplication time.

Provisions of this act are identical to TAT/SCS/HCS/HB 362 (2021).



No Amendments Found.