AG Hawley Encourages Swift Action on Sunshine Legislation

Mar 26, 2018, 14:24 PM
Mar 26, 2018, 14:23 PM

Jefferson City, Mo.  – Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley today encouraged members of the Missouri legislature to approve legislation that offers commonsense measures to update and improve Missouri Sunshine and Records-retention laws. House Bill 2523 and House Bill 2524 follow proposals by the Attorney General’s Office and the Missouri Press Association to strengthen enforcement of Chapter 109 of the Missouri Revised Statutes and the Missouri Sunshine Law. 

In testimony before the House General Laws Committee, the Office said this legislation needs to be passed expeditiously so that it can be put into action. 

Updates in the legislation include authorizing the Attorney General’s Office to issue investigative subpoenas in the course of its public-records investigations, establishing a transparency division within the Attorney General’s Office that would prevent potential conflicts of interest, and establishing new remedies for violations of Chapter 109. 

“This legislation will better empower my Office to enforce the Sunshine Law and strengthen the penalties for violations,” Hawley said. “Transparency in our government is a vital part of our democracy—and my Office must have the necessary tools to ensure that those who attempt to thwart records-retention and Sunshine policies can be thoroughly investigated.” 

If passed by the House General Laws Committee, the legislation still requires approval on the floor before moving to the Senate.