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Missouri House, Senate Approve Separate Open Records Bills

Flickr/Joe Buckingham

The Missouri House and Senate have each approved measures that would renew expired security exemptions to the open meetings and records law.

Both chambers voted Thursday to shield public buildings' security plans and law enforcement guidelines for terrorism incidents from public records requests. The two exemptions expired at the end of 2012.  State Representative Vicki Englund (D, Tesson) says the legislation will help protect children while at school.

“We do not want anyone who wants to harm our children, or harm anyone in the government, to know the security codes, to know how to get into buildings, to know how to make use of a space that is supposed to be used for education," Englund said.

The House bill makes the legislation permanent. The Senate's version would only protect the exemptions through 2017.

The Senate's bill would also make changes designed to improve transparency to the open meetings and records law, including a requirement that governmental bodies post meeting notices 48 hours in advance.

House members voted 148-3 to send their bill to the Senate. Senators voted 34-0 for their measure, which now goes to the House to approve Senate changes.

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Marshal was a political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio until 2018.