We're Suing the Missouri Senate

Today, Progress Missouri filed suit against the Missouri Senate for its continued refusal to adhere to Missouri’s Sunshine Law. Missouri state senators have repeatedly denied access to public hearings of Senate committees, in violation of state law, and we are escalating our fight for open government.

Our democracy works best when there is transparency and accountability, and the Sunshine Law is a necessary tool to maintain both. Some state senators, including Mike Parson, Mike Kehoe, and David Sater think that the Sunshine Law doesn't apply to them. They’re wrong. 

A copy of the petition filed in Cole County may be found below. 

Senators Parson, Kehoe, and Sater have repeatedly denied Progress Missouri access to film public hearings of committees that they chair. Unfortunately, this is not a new practice. Progress Missouri has been denied access to film hearings by Ron Richard, Scott Rupp, Will Kraus, and Brian Nieves in previous years. Earlier this year, PoliticMO reported that KRCG reporter Kermit Miller was denied the ability to film a public meeting. In 2014, former Sen. Nieves ordered all video and TV cameras out of a public hearing. All of these denials violate Missouri’s Sunshine Law.  

The Missouri Sunshine Law states that public bodies, including legislative bodies, “shall allow for the recording by audiotape, videotape, or other electronic means of any open meeting.”

Progress Missouri films and live streams committee hearings in the Capitol in an effort to document the actions and statements of elected officials, and has attempted to work with Senators to gain access to public meetings in accordance with the law. However, Senators Parson, Kehoe, and Sater have steadfastly refused to acknowledge that the Sunshine Law applies to them.

The Missouri Senate helped write the Sunshine Law. It's time for Missouri’s state Senators to start abiding by it. 

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What Folks Are Saying About Progress Missouri

  • Progress Missouri "has been leading the opposition effort" to "enshrine [Rush] Limbaugh with Missouri’s greats" 

  • "Let’s say kudos to lefty Progress Missouri for the act of transparency that the state itself should be providing..."

  • "No group has been as successful at getting the Capitol talking."

  • "Progress Missouri has become the biggest thorn in the side Republicans in the Capitol as the group is represented anywhere and everywhere."

  • "An oasis of sanity in a state whose officials often seem to care most about receiving gold stars from the NRA, denying women reproductive rights, and transferring money from cash-strapped public services to greedy corporate interests..."