JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - The state senate passed a bill Thursday to strengthen the penalties against a public official who violates open meeting laws.
Currently, the penalty of any violator that hosts a public meeting behind closed doors is $100, but the burden of payment is on the taxpayer and *not* on the public official.
Senate bills 22-89 deals with both open meetings and open record laws. It would increase the penalty to $1000, and put the burden of payment on the violator rather than on the taxpayer. In addition, any public official who denied public records would be fined $100 per violation.
Lieutenant Governor Phil Bryant says it's time the state changes these laws. "And that's a huge problem in this state. So many who work in government thinks the tax payers comes to the counter and asks for the budget that they can't have it. And these records all belong to the taxpayer."
This bill will now be sent over to the House of Representatives for debate. But no word yet on when it will get proposed.
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