Photos: Sunshine Week-Statehouse Secrecy

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ADVANCE FOR USE MONDAY, MARCH 14, 2016 AND THEREAFTER - FILE - In this Feb. 4, 2016 file photo, Missouri Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard speaks at an annual press association event, at the Governor's Mansion in Jefferson City, Missouri, as House Speaker Todd Richardson looks on. Richard was asked whether lawmakers' emails and daily calendars should be open to the public under the state Sunshine Law. He responded by saying he would provide those items. But Richard later denied a formal open-records request for his emails and calendar. (Julie Smith/News Tribune via AP, File)

ADVANCE FOR USE MONDAY, MARCH 14, 2016 AND THEREAFTER – FILE – In this Feb. 4, 2016 file photo, Missouri Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard speaks at an annual press association event, at the Governor’s Mansion in Jefferson City, Missouri, as House Speaker Todd Richardson looks on. Richard was asked whether lawmakers’ emails and daily calendars should be open to the public under the state Sunshine Law. He responded by saying he would provide those items. But Richard later denied a formal open-records request for his emails and calendar. (Julie Smith/News Tribune via AP, File)

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ADVANCE FOR USE MONDAY, MARCH 14, 2016 AND THEREAFTER - FILE - In this Jan. 22, 2015 file photo, House Speaker Philip Gunn, R-Clinton, answers a question at the Capitol in Jackson, Miss. As one of the top Republicans in the Mississippi Legislature, Gunn has refused to release emails or schedules. In denying a request, Gunn wrote that the state’s 1983 Public Records Act does not apply to members of the Legislature. Gunn also wrote that disclosing the requested records would endanger the privacy of other legislators and of constituents "who should be able to expect a private communication with his or her legislator about policy." (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

ADVANCE FOR USE MONDAY, MARCH 14, 2016 AND THEREAFTER – FILE – In this Jan. 22, 2015 file photo, House Speaker Philip Gunn, R-Clinton, answers a question at the Capitol in Jackson, Miss. As one of the top Republicans in the Mississippi Legislature, Gunn has refused to release emails or schedules. In denying a request, Gunn wrote that the state’s 1983 Public Records Act does not apply to members of the Legislature. Gunn also wrote that disclosing the requested records would endanger the privacy of other legislators and of constituents “who should be able to expect a private communication with his or her legislator about policy.” (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

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ADVANCE FOR USE SUNDAY, MARCH 13, 2016 AND THEREAFTER - FILE - In this March 30, 2015 file photo, Mississippi House Speaker Philip Gunn, R-Clinton, speaks at the Capitol in Jackson, Miss. As one of the top Republicans in the Mississippi Legislature, Gunn has refused to release emails or schedules. In denying a request, Gunn wrote that the state’s 1983 Public Records Act does not apply to members of the Legislature. Gunn also wrote that disclosing the requested records would endanger the privacy of other legislators and of constituents "who should be able to expect a private communication with his or her legislator about policy." (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

ADVANCE FOR USE SUNDAY, MARCH 13, 2016 AND THEREAFTER – FILE – In this March 30, 2015 file photo, Mississippi House Speaker Philip Gunn, R-Clinton, speaks at the Capitol in Jackson, Miss. As one of the top Republicans in the Mississippi Legislature, Gunn has refused to release emails or schedules. In denying a request, Gunn wrote that the state’s 1983 Public Records Act does not apply to members of the Legislature. Gunn also wrote that disclosing the requested records would endanger the privacy of other legislators and of constituents “who should be able to expect a private communication with his or her legislator about policy.” (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

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  1. […] SUNSHINE WEEK-STATEHOUSE SECRECY State capitols often are referred to as “the people’s house.” Yet when it comes to the availability of records, legislatures frequently put up a no trespassing sign: In many states, lawmakers have exempted themselves from the state public records laws. A recent Associated Press request for emails and daily schedules of the legislative leaders in all 50 states was met with as many denials as approvals. Closed records are just one of many ways state lawmakers dampen transparency for the public. By David A. Lieb. Photos. […]

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