JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – To kick off Sunshine Law Week, Attorney General Schmitt is offering guidelines and tips to governmental bodies who may have questions about public meetings or other Sunshine Law compliance in the midst of Coronavirus shutdowns.
The tips and guidelines can be found here: https://ago.mo.gov/docs/default-source/press-releases/2019/sunshine-law-guidance-for-public-governmental-bodies-during-a-public-health-crisis-or-state-of-emergency.pdf?sfvrsn=2d0b85af_2.
In order to protect the citizens they serve, some governmental bodies may move to remote meetings or other remedies. In order to ensure compliance with the Sunshine Law, the guidance in the document above covers meeting notices, meeting agendas, voice votes, roll call votes, and emergency public meetings.
The document states, “The Sunshine Law provides means for public governmental bodies to conduct public meetings in alternative ways, such as via video conference, online meeting, and telephone conference…the Attorney General’s Office encourages public governmental bodies to be mindful of the nature of business discussed or decided during states of emergencies, such as public health crises.”
The Attorney General’s Sunshine Law booklet also has ten frequently asked questions and other guidelines and tips for citizens and governmental bodies alike. The booklet, as well as a dashboard displaying statistics relating to the Attorney General’s Office’s handling of Sunshine Law complaints and requests can be found here: https://ago.mo.gov/missouri-law/sunshine-law
Any governmental bodies or officials with questions should visit the Attorney General’s website at www.ago.mo.gov/missouri-law/sunshine-law or contact the Director of Sunshine Law Compliance, Ms. Casey Lawrence, at 573-751-8905.