Lebanon, MO asked in Business Law for Missouri

Q: Does a chamber of commerce have to follow Sunshine Law (posting meetings, etc) since receive monthly payments from city?

Do we have to follow Sunshine Law in respect to posting meeetings, request for documents (copy of meetings, etc) given that we receive monthly payments from our local city government and have received federal grant money in the past?

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1 Lawyer Answer

A: The answer to this question will depend on looking closely at the facts of the chamber's relationship with the city. The receipt of some payments or grants, by itself, is not the issue. The question is the relationship between the chamber and the city.

Under Missouri law, the Sunshine Law applies to "quasi-public governmental bodies." Relevant to the chamber, quasi-public organizations include "any ... corporation ... organized or authorized to do business in this state under the provisions of chapter 352 ... [which] [h]as as its primary purpose to enter into contracts with public governmental bodies, or to engage primarily in activities carried out pursuant to an agreement or agreements with public governmental bodies." It is likely (but without knowing the specifics of your situation, it is not certain) that the chamber of commerce is a corporation organized under Chapter 352. So the question will be whether the chamber's primary purpose is to either "enter into contracts" with the city, or to "engage primarily in activities carried out pursuant to an agreement" with the city. If the answer to either of those is "yes," then the chamber probably has to comply with the Sunshine Laws.

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