Editorial: Essential information one Missouri legislator doesn’t want you to know

Missouri Rep. Genise Montecillo, D-Affton, has been on a singular mission for months to restrict access to certain police records, not because it’s in the public’s best interests but because it fits her personal agenda.

She wants the entire public kept in the dark whenever anyone in Missouri commits or attempts suicide. It’s a private matter and simply not the public’s business, she suggests. Except that it actually is the public’s business, especially when a person who attempts suicide is an elected official like Montecillo.

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Missouri Senate passes farm exemptions to open records laws

Missouri's open records laws would not cover some farming data under a measure that has passed the Missouri Senate.

The legislation, which passed with a bipartisan majority of 25-6, would require state agencies to keep confidential the information farmers submit for voluntary agricultural programs, such as registration data for animal disease tracking programs. Anyone who improperly releases that information could be sued.

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Missouri legislation would close police reports of suicides

A Missouri lawmaker who tried to kill herself last year now wants to make police reports of suicides and attempted suicides closed records.

Rep. Genise Montecillo’s proposal to restrict access to those reports received approval Wednesday from a House committee. Montecillo, a St. Louis Democrat, tried to kill herself in June 2015.

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Missouri lawmakers claim they’re exempt from the Sunshine Law

When he first became chief clerk of the Missouri House in 2006, Adam Crumbliss’ view of Missouri’s Sunshine Law likely wasn’t much different than most.

“Legislators are part of government,” he said. “Government records are open. So I assumed legislative records should be open.”

Over time, as he’s studied the issue further, his opinion evolved.

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Missouri Supreme Court considers right to record Senate committee meetings

The Missouri Supreme Court is weighing a lawsuit that accuses state senators of violating the Sunshine Law. Progress Missouri filed suit after being kicked out of Senate hearings on multiple occasions while videotaping proceedings.

The group's appeal to the state Supreme Court comes after the circuit judge of Cole County sided with the Senate. The high court heard arguments from both sides on Wednesday. 

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