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3. Local or municipal

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  • Alaska

    Municipal and other local government entities that are political subdivisions of the state or units of political subdivisions of the state are subject to the provisions of the state Open Meetings Act. To the extent that Alaska may have local government entities that are not political subdivisions of the state or units of such political subdivisions — most notably, Indian tribal government organizations — these are presumably not covered by the state OMA.

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  • Arizona

    (This section is blank. See the point above.)

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  • Arkansas

    The act applies to “the governing bodies of all municipalities, . . . townships, and school districts,” as well as to the governing bodies of private entities “supported wholly or in part by public funds or expending public funds.” Ark. Code Ann. § 25-19-106(a). See, e.g., Yandell v. Havana Bd. of Educ., 266 Ark. 434, 585 S.W.2d 927 (1979) (school board); Laman v. McCord, 245 Ark. 401, 432 S.W.2d 753 (1968) (city council); Ark. Op. Att’y Gen. Nos. 97-178 (municipal water commission), 97-016 (levee district board), 96-016 (city library board, water and sewer commission), 95-377 (municipal planning commission), 94-339 (screening committee appointed by school board), 88-058 (municipal civil service commission).

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  • California

    The Brown Act applies to the legislative body of any local agency or local body created by state or federal statute, including any town, school district, municipal corporation, district, political subdivision, or any board, commission or agency thereof, notwithstanding conflicting state laws. Cal. Gov't Code §§ 54951, 54952, 54958. Factors which determine whether an agency is "local" include: the agency's scope and character, its geographic area of operation, and the extent of its power or jurisdiction. Torres v. Board of Commissioners, 89 Cal. App. 3d 545, 550, 152 Cal. Rptr. 506 (1979).

    Many cities in California have also enacted local "sunshine laws" extending the public's access to meetings.

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  • Colorado

    Colo. Rev. Stat. § 24-6-402(1)(a) defines a "local public body" subject to the Sunshine Law as any board, committee, commission, authority, or other advisory, policy-making, rule-making, or formally constituted body of any political subdivision of the state, and any public or private entity to which a political subdivision, or an official thereof, has delegated a governmental decision-making function, but not persons on the administrative staff of the local public body.

    A "political subdivision of the state" is defined by Colo. Rev. Stat. § 24-6-402(1)(c) as any county, city, town, home rule city, home rule county, home rule city and county (i.e., Denver), school district, special district, local improvement district, special improvement district, or service district.

    School Boards. Regular and special meetings of the board of education of a school district are open to the public under Colo. Rev. Stat. §§ 22-32-108(5) and 24-6-402(2)(b). See Bagby v. School District No. 1, 186 Colo. 428, 528 P.2d 1299 (1974). In 2014, the General Assembly enacted legislation clarifying that "local public body" includes members of a board of education, school administration personnel, or a combination thereof who are involved in a meeting with a representative of employees at which a collective bargaining agreement is discussed. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 24-6-402(1)(a)(II) (2014). "Local public body" also includes the governing board of an institute charter school. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 24-6-402(1)(a)(III) (2016).

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  • Connecticut

    (This section is blank. See the point above.)

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  • Delaware

    Local and/or municipal governments are covered by the Act. See Del. Op. Att'y Gen., No. 05-ib29 (Oct. 13, 2005) (addressing alleged violations by the Town of Cheswold); Del. Op. Att'y Gen., No. 99-ib15 (Dec. 9, 1999) (addressing violations by the City of Newark).

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  • District of Columbia

    The Act provides that "[a]ll meetings (including hearings) of any department, agency, board or commission of the District government, including meetings of the Council of the District of Columbia, at which official action of any kind is taken shall be open to the public." D.C. Code Ann. § 1-207.42(a).

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  • Georgia

    The Act applies to every municipal corporation, school district or other political subdivision of the state.  O.C.G.A. § 50-14-1(a)(1)(B)-(D).

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  • Hawaii

    No, because Hawaii has no local or municipal governments. See e.g., David L. Callies, How Development Agreements Work in Hawaii, in Development Agreements: Practice, Policy, and Prospects 71, 71 (Douglas R. Porter & Lindell L. Marsh, eds., Urban Land Institute 1989). The boundaries and governmental structure of the state's largest city, Honolulu, are coextensive with those of the County of Honolulu, which both comprise the island of O'ahu. The neighbor islands also lack separately defined county and municipal governments; the county government of Hawaii covers the Big Island of Hawaii; the county government of Maui also encompasses the adjacent islands of Lanai and Molokai; Kauai County includes Niihau.

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  • Idaho

    In Arnold v. City of Stanley, 158 Idaho 218, 345 P.3d 1008 (2015), the Idaho Supreme Court reaffirmed that Open Meeting Law applied to city council meeting. See also Idaho Code § 74-202(4)(c).

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  • Indiana

    Local and municipal agencies are included under the Act. Ind. Code § 5.14-1.5-2(a).

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  • Iowa

    Municipal governments are also statutory creatures. See generally Iowa Code Chapter 372 (organization of city government). Accordingly, they are subject to the open meetings law.

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  • Kansas

    See above.  City governments are subject to the law. K.S.A. 75-4318(a).  “The [c]ity is a unit of government subject to the Kansas Open Meetings Act.” City of Topeka v. Imming, 51 Kan. App. 2d 247, 254, 344 P.3d 957, 963 (2015).

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  • Kentucky

    The Open Meetings Act generally applies to all local governments and municipalities pursuant to Ky. Rev. Stat. 61.805(c) & (e).

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  • Louisiana

    Village, town and city governing authorities; planning, zoning and airport commissions; and any other municipal or special district boards, commissions or authorities, as well as any political subdivisions thereof, are subject to the law. La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 42:13(3): “‘Public body’ means village, town, and city governing authorities . . . and any other . . . municipal . . . boards, commissions, or authorities, and those of any political subdivision thereof, where such body possesses policy making, advisory, or administrative functions, including any committee or subcommittee of any of these bodies enumerated in this paragraph.”

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  • Maine

    Any board, commission, agency or authority of any municipality or other government entity (including school districts) is subject to the Act.  1 M.R.S.A. § 402(2)(C). In Lewiston Daily Sun v. City of Auburn, 544 A.2d 335 (Me. 1988), a special committee appointed by the mayor solely to investigate the alleged wrongdoing of a local city committee and to recommend solutions to any problems was held to be conducting public proceedings when it met. The court explained that the municipality could not avoid the open meetings requirements of the Freedom of Access Act by delegating to an advisory body an investigation that otherwise would have been undertaken by the city council.

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  • Maryland

    Entities consisting of at least two individuals and created by a municipal charter, ordinance, rule, resolution or bylaw, or by an executive order of the chief executive authority of a political subdivision of the State are "public bodies" subject to the provisions of the Act. § 3-301(h)(1). In addition multimember boards, commissions or committees appointed by the chief executive authority of a political subdivision of the State and having at least two individuals not employed by the subdivision are also public bodies. § 3-301(h)(2). However, a local government's counterpart to the Governor’s cabinet, Executive Council or any committee of the counterpart of the Executive Council are specifically exempt. § 3-301(h)(3).

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  • Massachusetts

    All multiple-member boards, commissions, committees, and subcommittees of any city, town, district, or region, if established to serve a public purpose, are subject to the law. This specifically includes the governing board or body of any local “housing, redevelopment or other similar authority.” It does not matter how the body was created or how it is constituted, and it does not matter whether the body’s members are elected or appointed. (A “subcommittee” is defined to include “any multiple-member body created to advise or make recommendations to a public body.”)  G.L. c. 30A, § 18 (definition of “public body”).

    OML applies to "governmental bodies." G.L. c. 39, §  23B. This term is defined to include "every board, commission, committee or subcommittee of any district, city, region or town." G.L. c. 39 §  23A. Decisions here interpreted this definition narrowly. See Gerstein v. Superintendent Search Screening Committee, 405 Mass. 465, 541 N.E.2d 984 (1989) (construes broadly exemption for preliminary screening committees interviewing municipal job applicants); Connelly v. School Committee of Hanover, 409 Mass. 232, 565 N.E.2d 449 (1991). (school principal-selection committee appointed by Superintendent of Schools, rather than by the School Committee, held not to be a committee of the town and was therefore exempt from the OML); Medlock v. Board of Trustees of University of Massachusetts, 31 Mass. App. Ct. 495, 580 N.E.2d 387 (1991) (animal care and use committee at state medical school not subject to OML).

    By statutory amendment, town meetings are technically exempt from the definition of "government body." St. 1988, c. 116 § 3, amending G.L. c. 39 § 23A. However, town meetings have traditionally been open for centuries.

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  • Montana

    Both the state Constitution and the implementing statute guarantee access to any state, county, local, or municipal governmental body.

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  • Nevada

    Local and municipal governments are covered by the OML. NRS 241.015(4)(a).

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  • New Hampshire

    Yes, see RSA 91-A:1-a.

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  • New Mexico

    See § 10-15-1(B), NMSA 1978.

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  • North Dakota

    Subject to the law.

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  • Ohio

    Local and municipal governments are subject to the law. State ex rel. Fairfield Leader v. Ricketts, 56 Ohio St. 3d 97, 564 N.E.2d 486 (1990) (township trustees); State ex rel. Cincinnati Post v. City of Cincinnati, 76 Ohio St. 3d 540, 668 N.E.2d 903 (1996) (city council where municipal charter adopted state law which did not conflict with charter); Ohio Rev. Code § 121.22(B)(1).

    However, where a local government has a home rule charter that does not provide for as much public access as the sunshine law, some lower appellate courts hold that the charter governs over the sunshine law. Hills & Dales Inc. v. City of Wooster, 4 Ohio App. 3d 240, 448 N.E.2d 163 (Ohio App. 9th Dist. 1982); City Comm'n of Piqua v. Piqua Daily Call, 64 Ohio App. 2d 222, 412 N.E.2d 1331 (Ohio App. 2d Dist. 1979). The Ohio Supreme Court has not decided that issue, but has applied the sunshine law to local governments with home rule charters where there was no direct conflict between the charter and the sunshine law, such as where the charter provides for greater public access than the sunshine law. State ex rel. Cincinnati Post v. City of Cincinnati, 76 Ohio St. 3d 540, 668 N.E.2d 903 (1996); State ex rel. Inskeep v. Staten, 74 Ohio St. 3d 676, 660 N.E.2d 1207 (1996); State ex rel. Fenley v. Kyger, 72 Ohio St. 3d 164, 648 N.E.2d 493 (1995); State ex rel. Plain Dealer Publishing Co. v. Barnes, 38 Ohio St. 3d 165, 527 N.E.2d 807 (1988).

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  • Oklahoma

    All governing bodies of municipalities and their committees or subcommittees are public bodies covered under the act. 25 O.S. § 304.1.

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  • Oregon

    Local and municipal governments are subject to the Public Meetings Law. See supra.

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  • Rhode Island

    The OML applies to meetings of all public bodies, which are defined as “any department, agency, commission, committee, board, council, bureau, or authority or any subdivision thereof of state or municipal government,” and shall include all authorities defined in R.I. Gen. Laws § 42-35-1(2).”  R.I. Gen. Laws §  42-46-2(3). However, any political party, organization, or unit thereof meeting or convening is not and should not be considered to be a public body.  Id.

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  • Tennessee

    Local or municipal governing bodies are subject to the law.

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  • Texas

    Municipal governing bodies in the state, school district boards of trustees and governing boards of special districts created by law are all bound to comply with the Act, pursuant to sections 551.001(3)(C), (E) & (H). In Sierra Club v. Austin Transp. Study Policy Advisory Comm., 746 S.W.2d 298 (Tex. App.—Austin 1988, writ denied), an appellate court concluded that a 17-member committee of state, county, regional and municipal public officials was a “special district” subject to the Act because it had decision-making powers. See also Tex. Att’y Gen. Op. No. GA-0280 (2004) (the Border Health Institute created under the Texas Education Code, which is primarily composed of representatives of public entities, whose enabling statute indicates that it performs governmental functions, and which received appropriated and federal funds, “exhibits the kind of qualities sufficient to bring it within the category of a ‘special district’ for purposes of the [Act]”); Tex. Att’y Gen. Op. No. H-238 (1974) (concluding that the governing body of the Harris County Hospital District was a special district subject to the Open Meetings Act). Section 551.001(3)(D) also includes the following within the definition of “governmental body:” “a deliberative body that has rulemaking or quasi-judicial power and that is classified as a department, agency, or political subdivision of a . . . municipality.” See also Finlan, 888 F. Supp. at 782-84  (an ad hoc municipal sports development committee is subject to the Act); Bexar Medina Atascosa Water Dist. v. Bexar Medina Atascosa Landowners’ Ass’n, 2 S.W.3d 459, 461 (Tex. App.—San Antonio 1999, pet. denied) (a water district is subject to the Act); Blankenship v. Brazos Higher Educ. Auth. Inc., 975 S.W.2d 353, 360 (Tex. App.—Waco 1998, pet. denied) (finding that a nonprofit corporation that issues revenue bonds to purchase student loans was not a deliberative body within the Act, as it does not hear or make binding determinations on disputes); City of Combes, Tex. v. East Rio Hondo Water Supply Corp., 244 F. Supp. 2d 778, 781 (S.D. Tex. 2003) (“for the purposes of the Texas Open Government and Open Meetings Acts, a water supply corporation is a ‘governmental body.’”).

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  • Utah

    Local and municipal governments and their advisory committees are subject to the Open Meetings Act. See Utah Code § 52-4-103(9)(a).

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  • Vermont

    Yes.  The Vermont Open Meeting Law is applicable to “any board, council, or commission of the State or one or more of its political subdivisions, any board, council, or commission of any agency, authority, or instrumentality of the State or one or more of its political subdivisions, or any committee of any of the foregoing boards, councils, or commissions” with the exception of “councils or similar groups established by the Governor for the sole purpose of advising the Governor with respect to policy.”  1 V.S.A. § 310(4).

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  • Virginia

    Cities, counties, towns and political subdivisions are subject to the Act.

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  • West Virginia

    (This section is blank. See the point above.)

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  • Wyoming

    Any governing body of a city agency is subject to the Public Meeting Law. Wyo. Att'y Gen. Op. 73-17 (1973). School boards are specifically required to comply by Wyo. Stat. § 21-3-110(a)(xvi)(C) (1977, Rev. 1986).

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