The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Opinion

May 31, 2013

Other Views: Bring back Blue Book

— We miss the Blue Book. It disappeared in 2010. The General Assembly decided to do away with the printed version of the Official Manual of the State of Missouri. Lawmakers decided to put the state information in it online.

For many of us, especially in the newspaper business, it was a quick, easy way to access state information.

It may be resurrected. There is a provision in Senate Bill 99, which was passed by the recent session of the General Assembly, that permits the secretary of state to enter into an agreement with a nonprofit organization to publish and sell copies of a new Blue Book (called that historically because of its blue jacket).

The secretary of state’s office would have to provide the organization the electronic version of the Official Manual to be published.

The nonprofit organization must charge a fee for a copy to cover the cost of printing and distribution.

The Missouri Press Association and its Foundation have been pushing for a return to the printed Blue Book since it was eliminated.

The bill has other provisions, including matters pertaining to elections.

The bill awaits the governor’s signature. We can’t think of any reason why he wouldn’t sign this bill.

— The Washington Missourian

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