By The Associated Press
JACKSON – Gov. Haley Barbour signed a bill Thursday designed to strengthen Mississippi’s open meetings laws.
Starting July 1, individual officials could face fines of $500 to $1,000 for improperly closing meetings that should be open to the public.
Under current law, taxpayers have been footing the bill for the fines.
The Mississippi Center for Freedom of Information and the Mississippi Press Association were among the open-government groups lobbying for the change, saying it could make officials more accountable for their own actions.