Skip to content

9. Appointed as well as elected bodies

Posts

  • Alabama

    The Alabama Open Meetings Act makes no distinction been elected and appointed bodies.

    view more
  • Alaska

    The OMA governs appointed as well as elected public bodies.

    view more
  • Arizona

    As long as they fall within the definition of a public body, both appointed and elected bodies must comply with the OML. For example, the OML applies to the Finance Committee of the Board of Regents, Ariz. Att’y Gen. Op. No. I78-285, as well as the board of trustees of an employees’ benefit-trust created by a school district board, Ariz. Att’y Gen. Op. No. I83-018.

    view more
  • Arkansas

    The fact that a body is appointed rather than elected is immaterial for FOIA purposes; rather, the question is whether it is a “governing body.” See Ark. Gazette Co. v. Pickens, 258 Ark. 69, 522 S.W.2d 350 (1975) (board of trustees at state university; members appointed by the governor); Ark. Op. Att’y Gen. Nos. 96-016 (municipal water and sewer commission, library board; members appointed by the city council), 95-377 (municipal planning commission; members appointed by the city council), 94-339 (committee appointed by school board).

    view more
  • California

    Neither the Bagley-Keene Act nor the Brown Act distinguishes between appointed and elected bodies. As long as the body falls within the definition of "state body" under the Bagley-Keene Act and "legislative body" of a "local agency" under the Brown Act, it will be subject to the open meeting laws.

    view more
  • Colorado

    Yes. Colo. Rev. Stat. § 24-6-402(1)(a) and (d).

    view more
  • Connecticut

    FOIA applies to appointed bodies. See Conn. Gen. Stat. §1-200(1)(A).

    view more
  • Delaware

    Both appointed and elected bodies are covered if established by the General Assembly. 29 Del. C. § 10002(c).

    view more
  • District of Columbia

    Not specifically addressed.

    view more
  • Georgia

    The Act makes no distinction between elected and appointed agencies. Both are covered.

    view more
  • Hawaii

    The law applies to appointed bodies. Trustees of the Travel Agency Recovery Fund, Att'y Gen. Op. No. 85-14 (July 26, 1985).

    In response to a request from then-State Senator Neil Abercrombie after he was denied access to an orientation for three newly appointed members of the University of Hawaii Board of Regents, the senate majority attorney issued an opinion holding that the session should have been open to the public: "The Legislature did not intend to limit public access only to decision-making meetings." Tom Kaser, Honolulu Advertiser, July 28, 1979 (quoting Senate Majority Att'y Letter).

    In response to an inquiry, the attorney general found that "the role of the standing and select committees of the Board of Regents is of such significance in conduct of the Board's business that the meetings of the committees must be conducted in accordance with the Hawaii Sunshine Law." Although the deputy attorney general found that the law does not explicitly apply to a subgroup of a board, she noted that to exempt the Board's committees would "permit members of a board to evade the open meeting requirements of the Sunshine Law merely by convening themselves as 'committees', thereafter discussing and deliberating upon board business in meetings closed to the public, and making only pro forma decisions at the open public board meetings." This would clearly be contrary to the intent of the Sunshine Law, and therefore, the deputy attorney general concluded, committees must comply with the open meeting provisions. Applicability of the Haw. Sunshine Law to the Comms. of the [Univ. of Haw.] Bd. of Regents, Att'y Gen. Op. No. 85-27 (Nov. 27, 1985).

    view more
  • Idaho

    Idaho has myriad commissions and boards that are primarily composed of members appointed by the governor. See, e.g., Title 67, Idaho Code; Idaho Blue Book (published biennially by Idaho Secretary of State). These entities, which exist by statute, are subject to the Open Meeting Law.

    view more
  • Illinois

    The definition of public bodies which are covered by the Act makes no distinction between appointed and elected bodies, so both are covered by the Act. However, the Act defines public office as “a position created by or under the Constitution or laws of this State, the occupant of which is charged with the exercise of some portion of the sovereign power of this State.” 5 ILCS 120/2. The term includes “members of the public body, but it shall not include organizational positions filled by members thereof, whether established by law or by a public body itself, that exist to assist the body in the conduct of its business.” Id.

    view more
  • Indiana

    The law makes no distinction between appointed or elected bodies. See Ind. Code § 5-14-1.5-2(a).

    view more
  • Iowa

    No statutory distinction is made between elected and appointed officials.

    view more
  • Kansas

    Both appointed and elected bodies are subject to the Act if they meet the standards set out for advisory, commissions, or other bodies to which government functions are delegated. Kan. Att’y Gen. Op. 1994-55.

    Records of applicants for appointment to new seats on a county commission were not excepted under KORA, since the applications were not for state employment, did not fall under pre-decisional work by the governor and did not fall under the exception for correspondence between a public agency and private individual. Salina Journal and Associated Press v. Sam Brownback, et. al., 2015-CV-65 (Sept. 18, 2015).

    view more
  • Kentucky

    Both appointed and elected bodies are covered by Kentucky’s Open Meetings Act. See Ky. Rev. Stat. 61.805(2).

    view more
  • Louisiana

    The statute makes no distinction between appointed and elected bodies, although, for other reasons discussed elsewhere in this outline, not all appointed bodies are covered by the Open Meeting Law.

    view more
  • Maine

    The Act applies to appointed as well as elected bodies.

    view more
  • Maryland

    The Act is applicable to all public bodies, unless they are performing administrative, judicial or quasi-judicial functions. § 3-103(a). Such bodies include any multimember board, commission, or committee, appointed by the Governor or the chief executive authority of a political subdivision of the State, if the entity includes in its membership at least two individuals not employed by the State or political subdivision of the State. § 3-101(h)(2). Additionally, any multimember boards, commissions or committees appointed by an entity in the Executive Branch of the State government, with its members appointed by the Governor, or by an official who is subject to the policy direction of such entity, is also a public body, so long as its members include at least two individuals who are not members of the appointing entity or employed by the State.  § 3-301(h)(2)(ii); see also Andy's Ice Cream v. Salisbury, 125 Md. App. 125, 146, 724 A.2d 717, 727 (1999) (a nonprofit zoo commission, whose members were appointed by the Mayor and City Council is a public body subject to the Act).

    view more
  • Massachusetts

    The statute applies to multi-member bodies regardless of whether their members are appointed or elected, and regardless of how the body was created. G.L. c. 30A, § 18 (definition of "public body").

    view more
  • Michigan

    The OMA's definition of public bodies does not distinguish between appointed and elected bodies. See Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 15.262(a).

    view more
  • Montana

    Any government body appointed or elected that receives public funds is subject to the law. See Mont. Code Ann. § 2-3-203(1).

    view more
  • Nebraska

    Open Meetings Act draws no distinctions between elected and appointed positions or bodies. The Open Meetings Act applies to appointed bodies, as well as elected bodies. §84-1409(1)(a)(iii) and (iv).

    view more
  • Nevada

    Both appointed as well as elected bodies are generally subject to the OML.

    view more
  • New Hampshire

    The Statute makes no distinction between elected and appointed bodies.

    view more
  • New Jersey

    The requirements of OPMA apply to every public body, whether elected or appointed, which performs a public governmental function or spends public funds.

    view more
  • New Mexico

    Covered by the Act, NMSA 1978 § 10-15-1(B).

    view more
  • North Carolina

    Appointed as well as elected bodies are covered if they meet the definition of “public body.”

    view more
  • North Dakota

    Covered by the law.

    view more
  • Ohio

    The statute makes no distinction between appointed and elected bodies; it applies to both.

    view more
  • Oklahoma

    If the body is supported in whole or in part by public funds or entrusted with the expending of public funds, or administering public property, then it is covered under the Act. 25 O.S. § 304.1. If a majority of the public body sits as members of the non-governmental group, and the non-governmental body makes recommendations to the public body, then the non-governmental group would also be covered under the Act. 25 O.S. § 306; see also 1982 OK AG 212. However, the body must meet the definition of Agency found elsewhere under state law or the appointed body may not be subject to the Act. See 2002 OK AG 5.

    view more
  • Oregon

    The Public Meetings Law does not distinguish between appointed and elected bodies per se.

    view more
  • Rhode Island

    Substantially covered.

    The Attorney General has interpreted the OML to apply to members-elect of a city-council. See Op. Att’y Gen. No. 95-12, (December 19, 1995), 1995 WL 783630.  Members-elect become subject to the OML as soon as the election results are not, even if the elections results have not yet been certified.  See Op. Att’y Gen. No. OM 07-03 (Mar. 8, 2007), 2007 WL 1696978.

    view more
  • South Carolina

    If the entity is a governmental body, it is subject to the act. If the entity is supported in whole or in part by public funds or expends public funds, it is subject to the act without regard to how the membership is selected. S.C. Code Ann. § 30-4-2(a); Burton v. York County Sheriff, 594 S.E.2d. 888 (S.C. App. 2004).

    view more
  • South Dakota

    No distinction is made between elected or appointed bodies.

    view more
  • Tennessee

    Covered by the Act. See Op. Att'y Gen. No. 94-94, 19 TAM 39-55 (Aug. 30, 1994).

    view more
  • Texas

    The Act makes no distinction between elected and appointed bodies so long as the governmental body has rulemaking or quasi-judicial authority. See, e.g., Tex. Att’y Gen. Op. No. JC-0060 (1999); Willmann, 123 S.W.3d at 478 (“A committee appointed by a governmental body constituting less than a quorum of its members may be subject to [the Act] because it falls either within a definition of the term ‘governmental body’ or as a subcommittee of a governmental body.”). Thus, for example, the Dallas Area Rapid Transit Board is subject to the Act. See Tex. Att’y Gen. Op. No. JM-595 (1986).

    view more
  • Utah

    The Open Meetings Act applies to appointed as well as elected bodies. See Utah Code § 52-4-103(9).

    view more
  • Vermont

    The Vermont Open Meeting Law makes no distinction between appointed and elected bodies.  Rather, it 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).

    view more
  • Virginia

    Elected and appointed bodies are subject to the Act. Va. Code Ann. § 2.2-3701 (definition of “public body”).

    view more
  • Washington

    There is no distinction between an elected and an appointed body.

    view more
  • West Virginia

    Whether an agency is appointed or elected makes no difference under the Open Meetings Act as long as it is a public agency.

    view more
  • Wisconsin

    The definition of "governmental bodies" includes both elected and appointed bodies. See Wis. Stat. § 19.82(1).

    view more
  • Wyoming

    Any "governing body" of an agency is subject to the act, including appointed as well as elected bodies. Wyo. Stat. § § 16-4-402 to 16-4-406 (1977, Rev. 1982); Wyo. Att'y Gen. Op. 73-17 (1973).

    view more