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B. What governments are subject to the law?

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  • Alaska

    The OMA provides that "all meetings of a governmental body of a public entity of the state are open to the public except as otherwise provided by this section (referring to the OMA itself) or another provision of law." AS 44.62.310. The terms used in this general admonition that government business is to be conducted openly are defined broadly. "Governmental body" means an assembly, council, board, commission, committee or other similar body of a public entity with the authority to establish policies or make decisions for the public entity or with the authority to advise or make recommendations to the public entity, and includes the members of a subcommittee or other subordinate unit of a governmental body if the subordinate unit consists of two or more members. AS 44.62.310(h)(1). A "public entity" is defined to include any entity of the state or of a political subdivision of the state including an agency, a board or commission, the University of Alaska, a public authority or corporation, a municipality, a school district, and other governmental units of the state or political subdivisions of the state. Due to constitutional separation of powers considerations, the legislature has specified that the term "public entity" does not include the court system or the legislative branch of state government. AS 44.62.310(h)(3).

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  • Arizona

    The OML applies to the state as well as “all political subdivisions of the state” which includes without limitation “all counties, cities and towns, school districts and special districts.”  A.R.S. § 38-431(5) (emphasis added).

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  • Arkansas

    (This section is blank. See the subpoints below.)

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  • California

    The Bagley-Keene Act applies to all specified state boards, commissions, committees and advisory groups of such multimember bodies. Cal. Gov't Code § 11121. As of April 1, 2016, it also applies to the State Bar of California. Id., § 11121(e).

    The Brown Act applies to the legislative body of a local agency or any other local body created by state or federal law, including all counties, cities, towns, school districts, municipal corporations, districts, political subdivisions or any board, commission or agency thereof. Cal. Gov't Code §§ 54951, 54952. The Legislature intended that all state and local agencies be included under the provisions of some open meeting act, unless expressly excluded. Torres v. Board of Commissioners, 89 Cal. App.3d 545, 549, 152 Cal. Rptr. 506 (1979).

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  • Connecticut

    All state, regional, local, and municipal governments are subject to FOIA. See Records Outline at I.B.

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  • Delaware

    All levels of government, including state, county, local and municipal governments, are covered by the Act. 29 Del. C. § 10002(c).

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  • District of Columbia

    The Open Meetings Act, which replaced the previous Sunshine Act, was signed into law in January 2011.  It has been discussed in only one reported case.   Smith v. Henderson, 982 F. Supp. 2d 32, 48 (D.D.C. 2013) (dismissing claim that school board violated Open Meetings Act).  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 “agencies” subject to the Act and the “meetings” subject and not subject to the Act are defined at the Act’s outset in O.C.G.A. § 50-14-1(a)(1) & (3).  In determining whether a particular agency or meeting is subject to the Act “we must bear in mind that the Open Meetings Act must be broadly construed to effect its purposes of protecting the public and individuals from closed-door meetings.” Kilgore v. R.W. Page Corp., 261 Ga. 410, 411, 405 S.E.2d 655, 657 (1991), citing Atlanta Journal v. Hill, 257 Ga. 398, 399, 359 S.E.2d 913 (1987).

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  • Hawaii

    The Sunshine Law, Chapter 92, concerns meetings of "boards," which include "any agency, board, commission, authority or committee of the State or its political subdivisions which is created by constitution, statute, rule or executive order to have supervision, control, jurisdiction or advisory power over specific matters and which is required to conduct meetings and to take official actions." Haw. Rev. Stat. § 92-2 (emphasis added). The law is liberally construed to include entities granted authority pursuant to not only the enumerated sources but also county charters. But cf. Haw. Rev. Stat. § 92F-3 (1996) (defining "agency" to include entities not limited to those created by "constitution, statute, rule or executive order").

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  • Idaho

    The Open Meeting Law covers various state, county, local and municipal bodies, as described in the definitions of “governing body” and “public agency.” Idaho Code §§ 74-202(4)-(5).

    “Public agency” means:

    (a) any state board, commission, department, authority, educational institution or other state agency which is created by or pursuant to statute, other than courts and their agencies and divisions, and the judicial council, and the district magistrates commission;

    (b) any regional board, commission, department or authority created by or pursuant to statute;

    (c) any county, city, school district, special district, or other municipal corporation or political subdivision of the state of Idaho;

    (d) any subagency of a public agency which is created by or pursuant to statute, ordinance, or other legislative act.

    Idaho Code § 74-202(4)

    “Governing body” means the members of any public agency which consists of two (2) or more members, with the authority to make decisions for or recommendations to a public agency regarding any matter. Idaho Code § 74-202(5)

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  • Illinois

    The Act applies to meetings of state, county and local public bodies, with specified exceptions. The public policy behind the Act states that public bodies "exist to aid in the conduct of the people's business and that the people have a right to be informed as to the conduct of their business. In order that the people shall be informed, the General Assembly finds and declares that it is the intent of this Act to ensure that the actions of public bodies be taken openly and that their deliberations be conducted openly." 5 ILCS 120/1.

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  • Indiana

    The law applies to “public agencies” of the state, counties, townships, school corporations, cities, towns, political subdivisions or other entities exercising the administrative, executive or legislative power of the state or a delegated local governmental power, among others. Ind. Code § 5-14-1.5-2(a). The definition of “public agency” is broad enough to include almost any group that receives public funding support (as opposed to payment for measurable goods and services) or which gets its authority through the executive, administrative or legislative power of the state or local governments. However, “public agency” does not include certain providers of goods or services that are not required to be audited. See Ind. Code § 5-14-1.5-2.1.

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  • Iowa

    The statute applies to governments expressly created by the Iowa statutes or by executive order; the governing bodies of political subdivisions and tax supported districts in the state; multimembered bodies created by the boards of governing bodies subject to the act; multimembered bodies created by university presidents and the board of regents to manage intercollegiate athletics; advisory boards created by the governor or the general assembly; non-profit corporations supported by property tax revenue which are licensed to conduct wagering; and non-profit corporations licensed to conduct gambling. Iowa Code § 21.2(1)(a)-(j).

    Note: Only members of the governmental body conducting the meeting are subject to the provisions of the open meetings act. Barrett v. Lode, 603 N.W.2d 766, 768 (Iowa 1999); see City of Postville v. Upper Explorerland Regional Planning Comm’n, 834 N.W.2d 1, 7–8 (Iowa 2013) (citing Iowa Code § 28H.4(2)) (finding a volunteer is not personally liable under the open meetings act unless they knowingly or intentionally violated the act or they would derive improper personal benefit from the violation).

    Chapter 21 clearly reaches only those meetings at which the governmental body deliberates or acts in a "policy-making" role. Hutchison v. Shull, 878 N.W.2d 221, 232 (Iowa 2016) (highlighting that a meeting requires deliberation and that deliberation must occur when the members are in temporal proximity to one another). A negotiating committee that has only an advisory function, and no policy-making duties, is not required to hold meetings that are open to the public. Mason v. Vision Iowa Bd., 700 N.W.2d 349 (Iowa 2005) (negotiating committee of Vision Iowa Board, a board created by the legislature to assist local communities with development of tourism opportunities, not required to hold public meetings). See Olinger v. Smith, 892 N.W.2d 775, 781 (Iowa Ct. App. 2016) (finding a gathering may be “purely ministerial” if the members of a governmental body assemble simply to receive information without discussing policy but the meetings are no longer “purely ministerial” if deliberation ensues).

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  • Kansas

    State, County and Municipal governments.  “[A]ll meetings for the conduct of the affairs of, and the transaction of business by, all legislative and administrative bodies and agencies of the state and political and taxing subdivisions” of the state of Kansas, “including boards, commissions, authorities, councils, committees, subcommittees and other subordinate groups thereof, receiving or expending and supported in whole or in part by public funds shall be open to the public.”  K.S.A. 75-4318(a).

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  • Kentucky

    State, county, and local or municipal bodies are covered by the Kentucky Open Meetings Act, as well as the governing bodies of public universities and schools:

    "Public agency" means:

    (a) Every state or local government board, commission and authority;

    (b) Every state or local legislative board, commission and committee;

    (c) Every county and city governing body, council, school district board, special district board and municipal corporation;

    (d) Every state or local government agency, including the policy-making board of an institution of education, created by or pursuant to state or local statute, executive order, ordinance, resolution or other legislative act;

    (e) Any body created by or pursuant to state or local statute, executive order, ordinance, resolution or other legislative act in the legislative or executive branch of government;

    (f) Any entity when the majority of its governing body is appointed by a "public agency" as defined in paragraph (a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (g) or (h) of this subsection, a member or employee of a "public agency," a state or local officer, or any combination thereof;

    (g) Any board, commission, committee, subcommittee, ad hoc committee, advisory committee, council or agency, except for a committee of a hospital medical staff or a committee formed for the purpose of evaluating the qualifications of public agency employees, established, created and controlled by a "public agency" as defined in paragraph (a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (f) or (h) of this subsection; and

    (h) Any interagency body of two (2) or more public agencies where each "public agency" is defined in paragraph (a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (f) or (g) of this subsection.

    Ky. Rev. Stat. 61.805(2).

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  • Maine

    The Act defines "public proceedings" as "the transaction of any functions affecting any or all citizens of the state" by any of the bodies identified by statute. 1 M.R.S.A. § 402(2).

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  • Maryland

    As "public bodies", state, county or municipal governments of Maryland are subject to the Act. § 3-101(h).

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  • Massachusetts

    Every “public body,” as defined in the Open Meeting Law, is subject to the statute.

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  • Michigan

    The OMA applies to state and local bodies. Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 15.262(a). The OMA supersedes all local provisions requiring meetings of local public bodies to be open to the public. However, nothing in the OMA prohibits public bodies from adopting provisions which would require a greater degree of openness than is required by the standards provided for in the OMA. Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 15.261.

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  • Nebraska

    The Open Meetings Act (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§84-140 to 1414 (Reissue 2014 and 2017 Cum. Supp) applies to various "public bodies" (see below) of state, county and local governments, including "governing bodies" of all political subdivisions, the governing bodies of all agencies of the executive department that are created pursuant to state law, and all independent boards, commissions, bureaus, committees, councils, subunits or any other bodies created pursuant to state law. Neb. Rev. Stat. §84-1409.

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  • New Jersey

    The provisions of the Open Public Meetings Act (“OPMA”) to all levels of government in New Jersey — state, county and local or municipal. N.J.S.A. 10:4-7.

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  • New Mexico

    All boards, commissions, administrative adjudicatory body, or other policymaking body of any state agency, any agency or authority of any county, municipality, district, or any political subdivision are subject to the law.  NMSA 1978 § 10-15-1(B).

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  • North Carolina

    All “public bodies” in North Carolina are covered, regardless of whether they function on behalf of the state, or of one or more counties, cities, school administrative units, or other political subdivisions. G.S. § 143-318.10(b).

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  • North Dakota

    State, county, municipal, township, school board, and all other levels of state government are subject to the open meetings law. A specific statutory provision states that all meetings of the governing body of a municipality must be open to the public, and a journal of its proceedings kept. N.D.C.C. § 40-06-02.

    Unless an exception applies, all meetings of a public entity must be open to the public. N.D.C.C. § 44-04-19. A “public entity” is defined as all:

    a. Public or governmental bodies, boards, bureaus, commissions, or agencies of the state, including any entity created or recognized by the Constitution of North Dakota, state statute, or executive order of the governor or any task force or working group created by the individual in charge of a state agency or institution, to exercise public authority or perform a governmental function;

    b. Public or governmental bodies, boards, bureaus, commissions, or agencies of any political subdivision of the state and any entity created or recognized by the Constitution of North Dakota, state statute, executive order of the governor, resolution, ordinance, rule, bylaw, or executive order of the chief executive authority of a political subdivision of the state to exercise public authority or perform a governmental function; and

    c. Organizations or agencies supported in whole or in part by public funds, or expending public funds.

    N.D.C.C. § 44-04-17.1(13).

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  • Oregon

    All “public bodies” are subject to the Public Meetings Law. Public bodies include “the state, any regional council, county, city or district, or any municipal or public corporation, or any board, department, commission, council, bureau, committee or subcommittee or advisory group or any other agency thereof.” ORS 192.610(4).

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  • Rhode Island

    The OML applies to meetings of state and municipal government.

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  • South Carolina

    "Public bodies" which are defined in the act as political subdivisions and entities supported in whole or in part by public funds or expending public funds. S.C. Code Ann. § 30-4-20(a).

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  • Tennessee

    All governing bodies — state, county, and local — are required to hold open meetings. See T.C.A. § 8-44-102(a); City of Hendersonville v. City of Goodlettsville, 19 TAM 32-5 (Tenn. Ct. App. July 13, 1994) (City violated Act by not conducting public meeting, but the purpose of the Act was served when the decision to purchase property was ratified at a public meeting).

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  • Utah

    All “public bodies” are subject to the Utah Open and Public Meetings Act (“Open Meetings Act”). “Public body” includes “any administrative, advisory, executive, or legislative body of the state or its political subdivisions that: (i) is created by the Utah Constitution, statute, rule, ordinance, or resolution; (ii) consists of two or more persons; (iii) expends, disburses, or is supported in whole or in part by tax revenue; and (iv) is vested with the authority to make decisions regarding the public’s business.” Utah Code § 52-4-103(9)(a). “‘Public body’ does not include a: (i) political party, political group, or political caucus; or (ii) conference committee, rules committee, or sitting committee of the Legislature.” Id. § 52-4-103(9)(c)(emphasis added).

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  • Vermont

    The act is applicable to all levels, “political subdivisions” and branches of Vermont government, unless specifically exempted, and particularly local and town government because there is no “home rule” authority in Vermont.

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  • Virginia

    The Act applies to all public bodies, defined as "any legislative body, authority, board, bureau, commission, district or agency of the Commonwealth or of any political subdivision of the Commonwealth, including cities, towns and counties; municipal councils, governing bodies of counties, school boards and planning commissions; boards of visitors of public institutions of higher education; and other organizations, corporations or agencies in the Commonwealth supported wholly or principally by public funds." Va. Code Ann. § 2.2-3701.

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  • Washington

    OPMA applies to any public agency at the state, county, municipal or local level, and any subagency created by legislation, including planning commissions, library and park boards and commissions. RCW 42.30.020(1).

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  • West Virginia

    All levels of government, ranging from a city council to the State Legislature, fall within the general term "public body" used in the Act. The requirements of the statute apply to "this state or any political subdivision." W. Va. Code § 6-9A-2(6). Courts and family law masters are specifically excluded.

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