I. STATUTE -- BASIC APPLICATION.

As indicated in the preface, Montana has a constitutional provision guaranteeing all persons the right to observe the deliberations of public bodies. Montana's "sunshine" statute, initially adopted in 1963, was amended in 1975 to conform to the new constitutional provision. Mont. Code Ann. §§ 2-3-201 to 221.

Taken together, the Montana constitutional and statutory provisions guarantee every citizen the right to observe the deliberations of all public bodies or agencies of state government, except in cases in which the demand of individual privacy clearly exceeds the merits of public disclosure.