sunshine law

columns at university of missouri
File Photo / KBIA

A federal appeals court has ruled that course syllabi are exempt from Missouri's open records law because they are the intellectual property of faculty members.

Sunday was the start of "Sunshine Week," a time to celebrate the idea of open government and open records. But in Missouri, you might want to hold off on popping the champagne.

Missouri's sunshine law, which allows the public to ask government officials for things like emails, documents and other records, doesn't have much teeth.

Senate floor at the Missouri Capitol
File / KBIA

 Running afoul of Missouri's open government laws could carry a smaller financial penalty but no longer require proof the law was knowingly broken under legislation before a Senate committee.

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Photo courtesy of the Office of Gov. Jay Nixon

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has signed legislation shielding security plans for public buildings and schools from open-records requests.

Camille Phillips / KBIA

Missouri's Senate has endorsed an overhaul of the state's open meetings and records law, commonly called the Sunshine Law.

Jacob Fenston / KBIA

Gov. Jay Nixon is urging renewal of exemptions from Missouri's open records law for security systems of government buildings and policies for responding to terrorism.

The exemptions protecting such information from disclosure expired at the end of 2012.

Nixon has scheduled news conferences on the topic today at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and the Missouri State Highway Patrol General Headquarters in Jefferson City. Law enforcement and public school district officials are scheduled to take part.

Auditor Tom Schweich says the state and local governments are routinely violating Missouri's open records and meetings law.