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5. Multi-state or regional bodies

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  • Alabama

    The Public Records Law is silent on this point, and we know of no decisions addressing the question. Presumably, Alabama would adopt the records requirements, if any, of such bodies that it joins. See, e.g., Ala. Code § 40-27-1, art. VIII(6) (2003): Multistate Tax Compact: "Information obtained by an audit pursuant to this article shall be confidential and available only for tax purposes to party states, their subdivisions or the United States."

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  • Alaska

    The records in the possession or control of the government members of the groups, participating as such, should be subject to the Act. The Alaska courts have not decided the question. However, the court has pointed out that the legislature chose to cover "every public writing or record in the state" instead of covering only records "of the state." See City of Kenai v. Kenai Peninsula Newspapers, 642 P.2d at 1322.

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  • Arizona

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

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  • Arkansas

    Multistate or regional bodies are subject to the FOIA if they are supported by public funds. See e.g., Ark. Op. Att’y Gen. No. 89-372 (regional organizations); Inf. Att’y Gen. Op. (August 31, 1987) (bi-state criminal justice center).

    As always, a separate, specific statutory mandate of confidentiality may supersede application of the FOIA. For example, the Interstate Commission for Adult Offender Supervision, created by interstate compact, is authorized to adopt by-laws that “establish conditions and procedures under which the [commission] shall make its information and official records available to the public for inspection or copying.” The commission “may exempt from disclosure any information or official records to the extent they would adversely affect personal privacy rights or proprietary rights” and “may enter into agreements with law enforcement agencies to receive or exchange information or records subject to nondisclosure and confidentiality provisions.” Ark. Code Ann. § 12-51-301(e)(3).

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  • California

    Multistate or regional bodies, such as planning authorities, are not specifically mentioned in CPRA, nor have they been the subject of any known court decisions. Arguably the CPRA would apply to multi-state bodies as “other state body or agency” under Section 6252(f) of the CPRA. Regional bodies might arguably fall within the CPRA’s definition of “state agency” as a “division, bureau, board or commission or other state body or agency…” Cal. Gov’t Code § 6252(f).

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  • Colorado

    No cases or statutory language specifically address this question.

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  • Connecticut

    FOIA applies to regional bodies, but there are no provisions or reported authority concerning multistate bodies. See Conn. Gen. Stat. §1-200(1)(A).

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  • Delaware

    Multistate or regional bodies (such as planning authorities) are covered by the Act if the entities (i) are supported in whole or in part by any public funds; (ii) expend or disburse any public funds, including grants, gifts or other similar disbursals and distributions; or (iii) are impliedly or specifically charged by any other public official body or agency to advise or to make reports, investigations or recommendations. 29 Del. C. § 10002(c); see Delaware Solid Waste Auth. v. News-Journal Co., 480 A.2d 628 (Del. 1984).

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  • District of Columbia

    The D.C. Circuit, applying D.C. Law, has held that the D.C. Act does not cover agencies created by interstate compact, such as the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. KiSKA Constr. Corp.-U.S.A., 167 F.3d at 611-12; see also Latimer, 345 A.2d at 486-87 (Joint Committee on Landmarks was not an agency of the District of Columbia).  Requests for WMATA records should be filed under WMATA's Public Access to Records Policy (PARP); more information can be found here: https://www.wmata.com/about/records/index.cfm# .  The PARP is interpreted and applied in the same manner as FOIA.  PARP § 1.0.

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  • Florida

    There is no Florida law addressing the applicability of Chapter 119 to multistate or regional bodies. To the extent that there is no choice of law, it could be argued that such bodies are subject to the open record provision, if such a body “acts on behalf” of a Florida public agency within the meaning of Chapter 119.

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  • Georgia

    Records of multi-state or regional bodies are not specifically addressed in the Act or its case law but would be subject to the Act’s provisions to the extent prepared, maintained or received by a Georgia agency. O.C.G.A. § 50-18-70(b)(2).

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  • Hawaii

    Because of its insular geography, issues relating to multistate or regional bodies crop up less frequently in Hawaii than on the U.S. mainland. Although not explicitly considered to date in OIP opinions, the "agency" status of such bodies for purposes of the UIPA presumably rests on a case-by-case examination of the totality of factors determining whether records requested fall within the extent to which such agencies can be deemed state agencies subject to the UIPA. Obviously, to the extent such bodies might be federal in nature, they may be also or separately subject to the disclosure provisions of the FOIA.

    The definition of "agency" in Section 92F-12(a)(2) requires the disclosure of "[f]inal opinions, including concurring and dissenting opinions, as well as orders made in the adjudication of cases, except to the extent protected by section 92F-13(1)[.]" This section contemplates public disclosure of the decisions and orders of advisory boards, commissions, and quasi-governmental bodies. See also Haw. Rev. Stat. § 91-1 (1996) (defining "agency" under HAPA to include boards and commissions authorized to adjudicate contested cases); id. § 91-12 (requiring decisions and orders in contested cases to be in writing with separate findings of fact and conclusions of law); Public Availability of a Transcript of an HLRB Prohibited Practice Proceeding, OIP Op. Ltr. No. 95-22 (Sept. 12, 1995) (requiring disclosure of transcript of Hawaii Labor Relations Board of a proceeding open to the public); Disclosure About Revocation of Contractors' Licenses, OIP Op. Ltr. No. 90-28 (Aug. 23, 1990) (requiring disclosure of license revocation orders issued by Contractors License Board).

    On the other hand, disclosure to federal or multistate agencies of information maintained by state agencies can be significantly restricted under the UIPA. See Disclosure of Names, Ethnicity, and Home Addresses of Veterans Who Reside in the State of Haw., OIP Op. Ltr. No. 92-8 (July 16, 1992) (refusing disclosure of state agency's data to Veterans Administration).

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  • Idaho

    There have been no reported decisions on the applicability of the Idaho Public Records Act to such bodies. To the extent that such bodies meet the broad definition of either a “state agency” or “local agency,” their records would be considered “public records” under the act.

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  • Illinois

    Multi-state or regional bodies created by agreements between states would be covered by FOIA because 5 ILCS 140/1 states that "access by all persons to public records promotes the transparency and accountability of public bodies at all levels of government.” (emphasis added).

    Persons faced with a denial on the grounds that another state law prohibits disclosure should keep in mind that Illinois FOIA specifically provides that, if a record contains information that is not exempt (in this case, for example, information that may pertain to another state and may not be disclosed under the state's laws), the exempt material may be redacted and the non-exempt material made available. See 5 ILCS 140/7. Carter v. Meek, 322 Ill. App. 3d 266, 750 N.E. 2d 242, 255 Ill. Dec. 661 (5th Dist. 2001).

    If a multi-state or regional body is not a part of Illinois’ government, but is subject to control by an Illinois agency, an argument can be made that disclosure is required pursuant to the test enunciated in Rockford Newspapers Inc. v. Northern Illinois Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependency, 64 Ill. App. 3d 94, 380 N.E.2d 1192, 21 Ill. Dec. 16 (2d Dist. 1978).

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  • Indiana

    If the body meets the statute’s definition of public agency, by exercising the executive, administrative, judicial, or legislative power of the state or its political subdivisions, or is subject to budget review or governmental audit for the receipt of public funds, it would be subject to the Act. Ind. Code § 5-14-3-2.

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  • Iowa

    The records of multistate or regional bodies are public if the records are held by governmental officials in their official capacity. Dubuque v. Dubuque Racing Ass'n, Ltd., 420 N.W.2d 450, 453 (Iowa 1988) (emphasis added).

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  • Kansas

    Multistate or regional bodies are not addressed specifically, but the presumption is that if the group is partially or wholly funded by public money, then it is subject to KORA. K.S.A. 45-217(e)(1).

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  • Kentucky

    The Act, Attorney General opinions, and reported court decisions do not address multistate or regional bodies.

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  • Louisiana

    Such groups are not specified in the Statute. Louisiana regional planning bodies would be covered, however. See Op. Att'y Gen. 92-476 (Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation).

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  • Maine

    To the extent that Maine governmental officials are serving on multi-state or regional bodies in connection with the transaction of governmental or public business, the public may request records from the officials serving on those bodies.

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  • Maryland

    Even where an interstate agency is considered an agency of the state, absent some agreement between the states to an interstate compact, interstate bodies are not subject to the PIA. C.T. Hellmuth v. Washington Metro Area Trans. Auth., 414 F. Supp. 408, 409 (D. Md. 1976). In C.T. Hellmuth, the Maryland federal district court addressed the issue of whether the Washington Metro Area Transit Authority (the "WMATA") was subject to the PIA. Even though the compact creating WMATA expressly stated that WMATA was an agency or instrumentality of each state party to the compact, the court held that WMATA was not subject to the PIA because there was no agreement by the parties to the compact subjecting WMATA to its provisions. In so holding, the court rejected the plaintiff's contentions that a tacit agreement existed between the states because of the similarity between their public information laws and that this similarity eliminated the possible imposition of one state's interests upon another. The court rejected both contentions in light of the "not insignificant" differences in the states' laws. The court left open the question of whether an interstate body would be subject to the laws of one state where the laws were substantially similar or identical.

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  • Massachusetts

    The statute does cover regional bodies. The status of multi-state bodies (rare in Massachusetts) is unclear.

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  • Michigan

    The definition of "public body" includes "intercounty, intercity, or regional governing body, council, school district, special district, or municipal corporation, or a board, department, commission, council, or agency thereof." Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 15.232(d)(iii).

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  • Minnesota

    If a regional body is created by the state or a political subdivision, it is governed by the Act. Minn. Stat. §§ 13.01, subd. 1; 13.02, subd. 7a.

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  • Mississippi

    These would be covered if "created by the Constitution or by law, executive order, ordinance or resolution." § 25-61-3(a). Regional libraries are covered. Att’y Gen. No. 2002-479, Sept. 20, 2002 to McGough.

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  • Montana

    On its face, the Public Records Act only applies to public records of a Montana governmental body. Mont. Code Ann. § 2-6-1002(10). However, if the multi-state or regional body receives governmental funds, it is arguably covered by the open records laws because the state constitution guarantees public access to the records of "public bodies" defined under the open meetings law as bodies "or organizations or agencies supported in whole or in part by public funds," Mont. Code Ann. § 2-3-203(1), and the Montana Supreme Court used definitions found in the Montana Procurement Act to conclude that an advisory committee of the Department of Corrections was subject to the constitutional right to know in Great Falls Tribune Co. Inc. v. Day, 289 Mont. 155, 959 P.2d 508 (1998).

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  • Nebraska

    No law regarding records. The Attorney General has indicated that the Central Interstate Low-Level Radioactive Waste Commission, the administrative arm of an interstate compact, is not subject to the open meeting law. Presumably, the same rationale would apply to the public records law.

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  • Nevada

    Multistate and regional bodies are generally "governmental entities," and are therefore covered by the NPRA. NRS 239.005(5).

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  • New Hampshire

    The Statute defines “public body” to include “[a]ny corporation that has as its sole member the state of New Hampshire, any county, town, municipal corporation, school district, school administrative unit, village district, or other political subdivision, and that is determined by the Internal Revenue Service to be a tax exempt organization pursuant to section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.” RSA 91-A:1-a,VI.

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  • New Jersey

    There are no published decisions on the applicability of OPRA to records of multistate bodies.

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  • New Mexico

    Presumptively open.  See N.M. Op. Att'y Gen. 90-27 (1990).  The determining factor, according to the Attorney General, is whether the body has been "cloaked with some policy-making and decision-making powers."  (Interpreting the Open Meetings Act, similar provisions.)  Similarly, the presumption created in the 1993 amendments that all persons are entitled "to the greatest possible information regarding the affairs of government and official acts of public officers and employees," NMSA 1978 § 14-2-5 (1993), tilts the field in favor of disclosure from both the state and regional bodies that receive "any public funding."  NMSA 1978 § 14-2-6(F) (2018).

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  • New York

    Lower courts have held that the records of interstate bodies are not subject to disclosure, while the records of regional bodies are available under FOIL. See Metro-ILA Pension Fund v. Waterfront Commission, N.Y.L.J., Dec. 16, 1986 (Sup. Ct., N.Y. Cty., 1986) (holding that the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor, an interstate body, did not fall within the FOIL definition of agency); Westchester Rockland Newspapers v. Fischer, 101 A.D.2d 840, 475 N.Y.S.2d 796 (2d Dep’t 1984) (dismissing appeal from order directing production of certain records of the White Plains Housing Authority).

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  • North Carolina

    Because the law covers all records made or received “in connection with the transaction of public business,” it would cover records relating to multistate or regional bodies if North Carolina public officials are members.

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  • North Dakota

    There is no specific statutory provision regarding such bodies. Governmental agency or nonpublic entity records obtained by the attorney general are exempt under N.D.C.C. § 44-04-18.12 if the attorney general determines: 1) The record is necessary to monitor or enforce compliance with a law or order or to further a civil investigation or litigation by the state; 2) The record is treated as confidential or privileged by the provider; and 3) The provider has not agreed to waive the privilege relating to or confidentiality of the record. N.D.C.C. § 44-04-18.12.

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  • Ohio

    The statute does not expressly address Multi-state or regional bodies, but to the extent that the membership of such bodies includes a majority of the members of a public body of Ohio or a political subdivision, records generated by the multistate or regional board that pertain to the business of the Ohio body likely would be available to the public. State ex rel. The Fairfield Leader v. Ricketts, 56 Ohio St. 3d 97, 564 N.E.2d 486 (1990) (Village’s charter required it to create and make available minutes for meeting among County, Village, and Township officials arranged jointly by Mayor and property developer to discuss plans for future development).

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  • Oklahoma

    If they have a connection with the transaction of public business, the expenditure of public funds or the administering of public property, they are covered under the Act. 51 O.S. § 24A.3.2. An entity formed by multiple counties pursuant to statutory authorization and performing a delegated function, such as self-insurance, which would otherwise be done by the individual counties and which receives funding from such county governments is subject to the Act. 1999 OK AG 37.

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  • Oregon

    ORS 192.314(1) (formerly ORS 192.420) allows inspection of “any public record of a public body in this state.” It is not clear that any multistate or regional body fits within the definitions of “public body,” ORS 192.314 (4) (formerly ORS 192.410), or “state agency,” ORS 192.314(6) (formerly ORS 192.410). The records of a multistate or regional body might otherwise fit within the definition of public record, ORS 192.314(5)(a) (formerly ORS 192.410(4)(a)), and ORS 192.314(1) (formerly ORS 192.420(1)) might be parsed to describe such records located within the state.

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  • Pennsylvania

    The Law does not identify any such bodies.

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  • Rhode Island

    The APRA is limited to bodies “of the state, or any political subdivision thereof.”  R.I. Gen. Laws §  38-2-2(1) (2012).

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  • South Carolina

    A multistate or regional body would become subject to the act if it were supported in whole or in part by public funds or expended public funds that were received other than in exchange for identifiable goods or services. Weston v. Carolina Research and Development Found., 401 S.E.2d 161 (S.C. 1991).

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  • South Dakota

    It is uncertain whether a body that includes the state would be considered “of’” the state, making that body’s records public. SDCL § 1-27-1.1.

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  • Tennessee

    The Act presumably does not include the records of multistate or regional bodies, however, records of such bodies might also be maintained by state offices that are subject to the Act.

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  • Texas

    Not specifically addressed.

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  • Utah

    It is unclear, based on Utah’s current statutory provisions, how these laws would apply to multistate or regional bodies (such as planning authorities).

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  • Vermont

    Not addressed.

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  • Virginia

    Such bodies are not statutorily exempt from coverage under the Act, and can fall within the definition of “public body.”

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  • Washington

    Such bodies arguably fall within the legislative purpose of the Act. In Worthington v. Westnet, 182 Wn.2d 500, 341 P.3d 995 (2015), the state supreme court held that a regional drug enforcement task force could not, by interlocal agreement, declare itself to be outside the reach of the Public Records Act, and that the court should look to the body’s actual operational structure to determine whether or not it was an “agency” under the statute. There is special language in the Open Public Meetings Act for regional bodies of publicly owned utilities “formed by or pursuant to” Washington law. RCW 42.30.020(1)(d).

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  • West Virginia

    Multistate or regional bodies, such as planning authorities, usually will fit the FOIA definition of "public body" that they are "created by state or local authority or . . . primarily funded by the state or local authority" and thus will be subject to the FOIA. Alternatively, multistate or regional bodies may fall under FOIA's definition of public body that also includes "any board, department, commission council or agency thereof; and any other body which is created by state or local authority or which is primarily funded by the state or local authority." W. Va. Code § 29B-1-2 (4).

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  • Wisconsin

    The records of these bodies are not specifically addressed but would certainly come under the Open Records law while within the possession, custody or control of a government official as part of his official duties.

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  • Wyoming

    Public records of the Wyoming representatives on these bodies should be subject to the Act. Wyo. Stat. § 16-4-202(a) (1977, Rev. 1982). The Wyoming Supreme Court has held that special districts, including joint powers boards (i.e., boards created and run by more than one public entity), are subject to the Public Records Act. Wyoming Jet Ctr. v. Jackson Hole Airport Board, 432 P.3d 910 (Wyo. 2019) (rejecting argument by joint powers board for an airport that it was governed only by the Special Districts Public Records and Meetings Act, Wyo. Stat. §16-12-301, and not the Public Records Act).

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