Share story

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri’s attorney general would have new authority in investigations of potential Sunshine Law and open records law violations under a bill passed by the House.

House members voted 147-1 Thursday to send the bill to the Senate. It would give the office the ability to demand evidence and testimony in those investigations and increase penalties for violations.

Attorney General Josh Hawley has said his inability to subpoena witnesses tied his hands earlier this year when investigating Gov. Eric Greitens’ office use of a message-destroying app. He’s said he would reopen the investigation if lawmakers give him that authority.

Some lawmakers have expressed concern that the bill was being used as a political tool to defend Hawley against claims that he didn’t investigate the governor’s office aggressively enough.