Posted: Feb 1, 2013 11:00 AM by Associated Press
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - Organizations representing Missouri cities and counties are expressing concern about a proposal that would require earlier notice before meetings and would penalize more violations of the open meetings and records law.
The legislation would require most governmental bodies to give 48 hours' notice before meetings instead of the current 24 hours.
Current law allows penalties of up to $1,000 for "knowing" violations. The proposal lowers that to $100 but would no longer require violations be "knowing." It also would require governmental bodies to pay complaints' attorney fees when a violation is sustained.
The Missouri Municipal League and Missouri Association of Counties say requiring earlier notice could create administrative challenges. And they question penalties for unwitting violations.
The Missouri Press Association and the Missouri Broadcasters Association support the proposal.