Wanted: Rays of Openness - The Missourian: Opinion

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Wanted: Rays of Openness

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Posted: Wednesday, March 14, 2012 6:32 pm

There are so many “weeks” to recognize just about everything under the sun that often these observances lose their significance. This is Sunshine Week and its significance is emphasized by newspapers.

Many states have Sunshine Laws that require public bodies to operate in the open — their meetings and records are subject to public scrutiny. Newspapers believe strongly in these laws since the public has a right to know what public officials and agencies are doing, especially since tax dollars are involved. Sad to say most of these laws lack strong teeth when it comes to penalties for violations. The gray areas in these laws often prevent full openness and disclosure in some instances.

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