Public to receive additional notice under new law

Legislation that requires governmental bodies to give four days’ notice to the public before voting on certain issues recently became state law.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon signed Senate Bill 851 on July 13.

The new measure requires governing bodies of “any county, city, town or village” to provide four business days’ notice “(f)or any public meeting where a vote … is required to implement a tax increase, or with respect to a retail development project when the governing body votes to utilize the power of eminent domain, create a transportation development district or a community improvement district or approve a redevelopment plan that pledges public funds as financing for the project or plan.”

No votes can be taken on those issues until proper notice is provided, according to the law.

Legal challenges must be brought within 30 days of the meeting in question.

The provision does not apply to the annual setting of tax rates, or to ordinances that require two readings on different days for their passage.

SB 851 was sponsored by Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-Glendale. Its counterpart, House Bill 1444, was sponsored by Rep. Timothy Jones, R-Eureka.