Secrets remain despite sunshine laws

A national study gives Mississippi a

failing grade for its government sunshine laws.

Mississippi is not alone. Thirty-eight states got an "F" in

the 2007 study by the Better Government Association and the

National Freedom of Information Coalition.

Open access to public meetings and public records is essential

to government accountability, yet Mississippi's laws are full of

exemptions that perpetuate a culture of secrecy.

Legislation is being filed this year in the Mississippi

Legislature to tighten some of the state's open-records exemptions

and to give people a better chance to see the workings of their

local and state governments.

Those governments are supported by the taxpayers' hard-earned