National Freedom of Information Coalition
Protecting Your Right to Open Government

Rules on releasing police body-camera footage vary; nine states are most restrictive, The Hill says

Alabama, Arizona, Kansas, Maine, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Wyoming have the most restrictive laws regarding the disclosure of police body-camera recordings. That’s according to a May 10, 2021, article in The Hill. “With no federal requirements on releasing police videos, states often differ in their approach to making the footage publicly available, […]

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State website aims to show how Missouri’s government spends money

Missouri has a website designed to make government more transparent, according to state Treasurer Eric Schmitt. Schmitt’s office recently launched ShowMeCheckbook.mo.gov, which he calls “a one-stop shop” for information on state finances, revenue, payroll, expenses and cash flow. “This new website is powered by over 20 million individual data points, boiled down into easy-to-use charts, graphs, […]

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Group wants transparency in Missouri government. And it’s taking dark money donations

A good-government group pushing for a major overhaul of state ethics rules has received more than $325,000 in contributions from two dark money organizations. A Post-Dispatch review of campaign finance records shows Clean Missouri, which is backing the Amendment 1 referendum on the November ballot, took in $312,000 from the Action Now Initiative and $13,287 […]

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Missouri’s Statewide Database of Missing Kids Paints Unreliable Picture

Djion Oates was arrested and charged with robbery on his 16th birthday and sentenced to five years of probation. About three years later, he was arrested and charged with murdering a man on MetroLink. But according to the Missouri Highway Patrol’s website, he has been missing since he was 15 years old.

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Secretive Nonprofits Back Governors Around The Country

Optics aside, Greitens isn't the only governor connected to supportive nonprofit organizations.

Groups in Arizona, Illinois and Georgia have sprung up to help the states' governors, while avoiding traditional donation requirements. Robert Maguire of the Center for Responsive Politics said the groups are the "unlimited, undisclosed arm of the administration that basically … bolsters the agenda of the governor."

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Kansas City, MO: Backlog of Sunshine Law requests reduced, but legal fees stir controversy

Even the divided Clay County Commission agreed: County Counselor Kevin Graham needed help reducing the backlog of Sunshine Law requests.

But the commission – and several office holders – are split on whether the county should continue employing a Kansas City attorney who charges $373.50 an hour.

Graham had been handling the requests on his own, he said, until the load multiplied.

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MO: Local Special Report on Government Transparency finds Inconsistent Sunshine Request Results

If your friend asks to borrow money, you may ask them, "What for?" Missouri's Sunshine Law is designed to make sure we, as taxpayers, know what our state and local entities are doing with our money.

Is the law being followed and enforced? In an ABC 17 News Special Report, Marissa Hollowed found your government may be shutting you out.

"They didn't want to turn these records over, so they wanted to make it as burdensome as they possibly could on us," Daniel Kolde told ABC 17 News in his St. Louis office.

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OpEd: The Sun shines on all in Missouri, but not always equally

Over the next few weeks, many of you will be seeing your present (and/or prospective) state legislators and senators cross your towns. They are in the midst of campaigns. They are telling you and your voters why they should be elected to fill seats in Jefferson City beginning in January.

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Missouri closed-records bill has no chance to become law, state senator says

A Missouri House bill to close law-enforcement records to the public has no chance of passage in the Senate, Sen. Wayne Wallingford, R-Cape Girardeau, said Wednesday.

On April 28, the House passed the measure by a vote of 129-9 that would make police reports of suicide or attempted suicide closed records.

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