Flanked by dozens of state and local law enforcement officials and University of Missouri–St. Louis Chancellor Tom George, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon urged action by the General Assembly to reinstate an exemption to the Missouri Sunshine Law protecting public safety during a press conference Friday in the Millennium Student Center at UMSL.
The exception was put in place 10 years ago, but expired at the end of 2012. It helped prevent the release of security plans and procedures that protect facilities such as schools, courthouses and hospitals.
“Initially passed in the wake of 9/11, these provisions represent a proven and balanced approach to keeping sensitive security plans our of the hands of criminals and terrorists, while respecting the bedrock principles of transparency and accountability,” Nixon said. “Now is not the time to undermine the shared efforts of school officials, law enforcement, fire personnel and first responders to enhance our readiness over the past decade by weakening laws that protect our communities.”
Gov. Nixon called for the assembly to immediately pass an extension for the exemption when they resume session next week and to ultimately reinstate that provision the protects these plans.
“These narrowly tailored exemptions prevent our open-records laws from being misused by those who could employ this information for the purposes of carrying out an attack against the public,” he said. “I call on the General Assembly to work quickly to send a bill to my desk that reinstates these protections”