A Nice Editorial On The Toothless Missouri Sunshine Law…

The Post-Dispatch has been a consistent voice on the need for reform in Missouri:

Missouri’s law, however, is too weak to put fear in the minds of those public officials afraid to do their business in the light of day, whether it be shouting from the rooftops or whispering in quiet city council chambers.

Brentwood hardly is alone. We brought attention on this page last month to the dilemma at Missouri Employers Mutual, a state-created workers compensation company whose board members are appointed by Gov. Jay Nixon and yet won’t give the public the most basic of public information.

The company qualifies for certain federal subsidies specifically by acting like a public board and giving the governor nominal control. But it refuses to follow the very law that gives citizens the kind of oversight that should be the trade-off for its public profit.

Part of the problem lies with Mr. Nixon, who, in 16 years as Missouri attorney general, mostly paid lip service to the importance of the Sunshine Law. Mr. Nixon’s successor as attorney general, Chris Koster, hasn’t been much better. Neither Democrat was, or has been, very willing to take government bodies to court to enforce the law. The same is true of local prosecutors.

 

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