Missouri’s Sunshine Law was introduced seven years after the Freedom of Information Act was passed in Congress. In 1973, RSMO Chapter 610 was signed into the Missouri Constitution. The law expressly stated that meetings, records, votes, actions, and deliberations of public governmental bodies are to be open to the public.
The law set out to create specific instances when a meeting, record or vote may be closed that should be narrowly defined and interpreted to promote government openness. Pursuant to the law, public meetings are to be held at convenient times, to be accessible to the public, and held in facilities large enough to accommodate the expected audience. Moreover, the Missouri Meeting Notices Law provides the methods by which meetings are conducted, whether open or closed. Chapter 610 of the Missouri Revised Statutes define the law. The law summarizes its purpose by stating that, “it is the public policy of this state that meetings, records, votes, actions, and deliberations of public governmental bodies be open to the public unless otherwise provided by law. Sections 610.010 to 610.200 shall be liberally construed and their exceptions strictly construed to promote this public policy.”