This resolution was presented by Speaker of the House of Representatives, Timothy W. Jones, District No. 110, to the Missouri Press Board on Feb. 20, in Jefferson City.
WHEREAS in 1946, the Federal Administrative Procedure Act was passed, which created a new era of openness in government, and which was strongly supported by U.S. Senator Thomas C. Hennings, Jr. of Missouri; and
WHEREAS IN 1966, the comprehensive Freedom of Information Act was adopted on the federal level, due in large part to the efforts of Senator Edward B. Long of Missouri; and
WHEREAS in 1958, a Freedom of Information Center was established at the University of Missouri School of Journalism as a depository of and effective supporter of the rights of the public to seek access to information on a federal level; and
WHEREAS in 1961, Missouri adopted a state open records law, contained in Chapter 109 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri, guaranteeing openness in records maintained by state government; and
WHEREAS Missouri newspaper publishers joined with state officials to seek creation of an Open Meetings and Open Records Law which would ensure access to meetings and records of public governmental bodies, resulting in the passage in 1973 of Senate Bill 1, Missouri’s Sunshine Law, putting this state in the forefront of the national movement to open public records and meetings; and
WHEREAS this year marks the Fortieth Anniversary of this legislation, which has resulted in a more transparent government in Missouri, as stated by Judge Fred L. Henley of the Missouri Supreme Court in a 1975 decision in Cohen v. Poelker, where he said, speaking for the majority in the holding in that case, “The several sections of Chapter 610, considered together, speak loudly and clearly for the General Assembly that its intent in enacting the Sunshine Law, so called was that all meetings of members of public governmental bodies … at which the peoples' business is considered must be open to the people and not conducted in secrecy, and also that the records of the body and the votes of its members must be open”:
NOW, therefore, be it resolved that we, the members of the Missouri House of Representatives, Ninety-seventh General Assembly, join with the Missouri Press Association on the illustrious occasion of the Fortieth Anniversary of Missouri's Sunshine Law; and
BE it further resolved that the Chief Clerk of the Missouri House of Representatives be instructed to prepare a properly inscribed copy of this resolution for presentation to the Missouri Press Association.
Offered by Representative Timothy W. Jones, District No. 110
I, Timothy W. Jones, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ninety-seventh General Assembly, First Regular Session, do certify that the above is a true and correct copy of the House Resolution No. 459, adopted February 19, 2013.
Signed/ Timothy W. Jones, Speaker