Senate OKs open meetings; finance disclosure bills

By The Associated Press

JACKSON — The Mississippi Senate has passed two bills a key chairman says will put more sunshine in local and state government.

One bill would allow a chancery court to nullify any action that occurs during an illegally closed meeting of a public body. The bill also would impose a fine of up to $1,000 on any person found violating the law.

The other bill would increase fines on candidates and officeholders who don’t submit required forms disclosing their financial holdings. The fines would be increased from $10 a day to $100 per day.

Republican Senate Ethics Committee Chairman Merle Flowers of Southaven says raising the fines would provide an incentive for politicians to comply.

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The bills are Senate Bills 2289 and 2596.