Lawyers sue Missouri House over public records rule

Jefferson City

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – A Missouri attorney has filed a lawsuit claiming the state House acted unconstitutionally by blocking the public from accessing some lawmaker records.

The Kansas City Star reports that Sunshine and Government Accountability Project founder Mark Pedroli sued the Missouri House on Wednesday.

At issue is a new internal House rule that allows lawmakers to shield constituent records and party strategy from the public.

Missouri lawmakers previously exempted themselves from open-records laws that other statewide elected officials face. But voters in 2018 passed a constitutional amendment applying the Sunshine Law to lawmakers, too.

Pedroli says House members violated the Missouri Constitution by blacking out information from some lawmaker emails that he requested.

The House chief clerk says the chamber is using its constitutional authority to establish its own rules.

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