Missouri House passes bill on closing public records

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A bill that critics say would gut Missouri’s open-records law has passed the state House.

House members on Thursday voted 103-47 to advance the legislation , which would also impose campaign contribution caps on local candidates.

At issue is an amendment to the bill that would allow public officials to close records that include “advice, opinions or recommendations” related to public work.

Supporters say the goal is to protect the privacy of constituents who contact lawmakers with concerns. But Democratic Rep. Jon Carpenter says that would close almost all records .

Republican sponsor Rep. Shamed Dogan says he’s willing to work to tone that language down as the bill goes through the Senate.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Caleb Rowden says senators will work to protect constituent privacy without going too far.

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