JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri House has given initial approval to a bill that would beef up the state’s open records law.
The proposal, passed Tuesday, would essentially give the attorney general’s office subpoena power when investigating open records violations. Attorney General Josh Hawley has said his inability to subpoena witnesses tied his hands earlier this year when investigating Gov. Eric Greitens’ office use of a message-destroying app.
The bill would also increase penalties for violations.
Proponents say this will improve government transparency.
Some lawmakers expressed concern that the bill was being used as a political tool to defend Hawley against charges that he hasn’t investigated the governor aggressively enough.
The bill must be voted on again before it goes to the House.