Missouri lawmakers pass farm exemptions to open records laws
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - The Missouri Legislature has voted to exempt some types of farm data from the state's open records laws.
The House voted 111-40 Tuesday to requiring state agencies to keep confidential the information collected for voluntary agricultural programs, including registration data for animal disease tracking programs.
The legislation passed the Senate two weeks earlier, and it now goes to the governor.
Bill sponsor Jay Houghton said strengthening privacy protections for personal and business information would encourage more farmers to participate in voluntary programs. Officials could still release information to show whether a disease outbreak has affected specific animals.
Democratic Rep. Tracy McCreery said public funds pay for those voluntary programs, and taxpayers should have the right to know how that money is spent.