The way has been paved for the rebirth of the printed version of the Official Manual of the State of Missouri, better known as the Blue Book. Gov. Jay Nixon signed Senate Bill 99, which includes the reinstatement of the printed version of the Blue Book.

The Missouri Press Association for several years has supported bringing back the printed version of the Blue Book since funding for it was eliminated by the General Assembly in 2010. Considering the printed cost in the “big picture” of looking at the total state budget it could be called a small cost savings.

The legislation just signed permits the secretary of state to enter into an agreement with a nonprofit organization to print copies of the Official State Manual. The secretary of state must provide to the nonprofit organization the electronic version of the official manual to be published. The nonprofit organization must charge a fee for a copy of the manual to cover the cost of production and distribution.

This is welcome news to many people who were used to the printed version and kept the books handy for quick reference, especially in going back some years. The Missouri Press Association will continue to take the lead in getting the printed version in people’s hands.