Missouri governor vetoes public records bill

Associated Press

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson on Friday vetoed a wide-ranging bill that would have limited public access to certain government records. 

Among other things, the measure would have allowed Missouri government agencies to close off public access to people's addresses and phone numbers provided for mailing lists. 

More broadly, the bill would give a 30-day deadline for people to pay once they receive a bill for the estimated cost to get public records, although requests could be resubmitted. 

In a letter to lawmakers, Parson wrote that a recent Missouri Supreme Court ruling prevents government agencies from conditioning "provision of a date and time for inspection of open records on payment of a fee."

He also cited duplicative rules in other unrelated sections of the bill as reasons for his veto. 

Other provisions in the bill would have required public bodies to give 72-hour notice if the office is going to be closed for an extended period of time, a change pitched after many public offices shut down during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Another provision would have meant defendants facing extended jail time wouldn't have had to pay for the police report and other public records on their own case.