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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Running afoul of Missouri's open government laws could carry a smaller financial penalty but no longer require proof the law was knowingly broken under legislation before a Senate committee.
Officials or agencies now can pay up to $5,000 for a purposeful violation and up to $1,000 for a "knowing" violation. The Senate legislation would reduce the amount of the lesser penalty to $100 and no longer require a violation be committed "knowingly" for there to be punishment.
Supporters say the changes would make enforcement of the Sunshine Law just like that of other statutes.
Organizations representing cities, counties and other local governments are critical. They question levying penalties against people who can be volunteers and who accidently violate an open meeting or public records requirement while serving their communities.
Students at the University of Missouri are being warned to be extra vigilant after a female student reported being raped near campus over the weekend.
The student told Residential Life that she'd been raped late Saturday night or very early Sunday morning in the 800 block of Richmond Avenue. University officials say they're working with the victim to make sure she receives the resources and assistance she needs.
Additional details about the crime haven't been released. Police say their investigation is ongoing.