Legislation requiring the Missouri Attorney General to submit a monthly report to lawmakers about the state legal expense fund will be heard Tuesday morning by the House Budget Committee in Jefferson City.
House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty’s bill would require a report of all settlements and judgments paid from the fund.
“What it requires is that the Attorney General’s office actually posts on his website all of the settlements that come out of that legal expense fund,” Beatty says. “Just creating some transparency.”
Missouri’s legal expense fund is used to make payments that stem from lawsuits against the state.
Beatty, D-Kansas City, tells Missourinet the bill is not aimed at GOP Attorney General Josh Hawley.
“While the Attorney General (Hawley) has already agreed to do that and has been doing that, when the next Attorney General comes he may not choose to do that,” says Beatty. “And I think that needs to be part of our statute so that we make sure that we keep some transparency.”
The House Budget Committee has scheduled a hearing on Beatty’s bill for 8:15 on Tuesday morning.
The “Kansas City Pitch” broke the November 2016 story that the state paid more than $7 million in four years to settle lawsuits brought by Corrections employees who claim they were victims of harassment and retaliation.
State Rep. Cloria Brown, R-St. Louis County, said last April that former Attorney General Chris Koster (D) should have been posting the payouts on the State Accountability Portal website.