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E. Categories of meetings subject to the law

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  • Arizona

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

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  • Arkansas

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

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  • California

    Both the Bagley-Keene and Brown Acts classify meetings as regular, special or emergency.

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  • Delaware

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

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  • District of Columbia

    The Open Meetings Act applies to all meetings "whether formal or informal, regular, special, or emergency."  D.C. Code Ann. § 2-574(1).  Although the District of Columbia Court of Appeals has not yet had an opportunity to consider the Act's impact on its interpretations of D.C.'s previous open meetings statute, the Act appears to have been intended to "broaden" the prior statute, see Council of the D.C. Comm. on Gov't Operations and Env't, Report on Bill 18-716, the "Open Meetings Act of 2010," at 5 (D.C. 2010) [hereinafter Committee Report], available at http://tinyurl.com/3d48m9z, and reverse the D.C. Court of Appeals' practice of interpreting the open meetings requirement narrowly.  See D.C. Code Ann. § 2-573 (instructing that the Act "shall be construed broadly to maximize public access to meetings"); Committee Report, supra, at 3 (blaming the previous statute's "failure to create clear definitions, clear procedures, and specific exemptions" for District bodies' tendency "to interpret the law narrowly").

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  • Georgia

    All agency and agency committee meetings at which “any official business, policy, or public matter of the agency is formulated, presented, discussed, or voted upon” are generally subject to the Act. O.C.G.A. § 50-14-1(a)(3)(A). But, as long as not done to evade the Act and no official business is to discussed or action taken, an agency may gather (without complying with the Act’s notice and other requirements) to inspect physical facilities or property of the agency, to travel to meetings and to attend social, ceremonial, civic or religious events. § 50-14-1(a)(3)(B)(i),(iv)-(v). And, as long as not done to evade the Act and no official action is be taken, an agency may gather (without complying with the Act’s notice and other requirements) at multijurisdictional, regional and statewide seminars or conferences and at meetings with state or federal officials at those officials’ offices. § 50-14-1(a)(3)(B)(ii)-(iii).

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  • Hawaii

    Administrative rulemaking.

    Chapter 91, Hawaii Administrative Procedure Act (HAPA), sets forth the procedures for administrative rulemaking. Haw. Rev. Stat. ch. 91 (1996).

    a. Public hearing requirement.

    Any board or agency adopting, amending, or repealing any rule under authority of law must first hold a public hearing. Id. § 91-3 (Supp. 1999).

    b. Notice requirements.

    (1) Time limit for giving notice.

    Thirty days. Id. § 91-3(a)(1).

    (2) To whom is notice given.

    Agencies must give notice of administrative rulemaking to all persons who have made a timely written request of the agency to receive advance notice of its rulemaking proceedings. Id. § 91-3(a)(1).

    (3) Where posted.

    Agencies must publish notice of administrative rulemaking at least once in a newspaper of general circulation in the state for state agencies and, for county agencies, in a newspaper of general circulation in the county. Id. § 91-3(a)(1). Agencies must also post their proposed rules on the internet. Id.

    (4) Public agenda items required.

    The notice must include a statement of the substance of the proposed rule and the date, time, and place where interested persons can testify on it. Id. § 91-3(a)(1). An agenda must provide notice of the matters the board intends to consider at its meeting by listing matters with enough detail to reasonably allow the public to understand the subject of the matter to be considered; however, the agenda does not need to specifically notice that a decision may be made on an item or the exact nature of that decision as long as it reasonably arises under the subject matter listed. Sufficiency of Agenda, OIP Op. Ltr. No. 07-06 (Apr. 13, 2007).

    The meeting agenda may not be amended to add an item of reasonably major importance and action on the item will affect a significant number of persons. Amendment of Agenda; Executive Meeting Agenda, OIP Op. Ltr. No. 06-05 (July 19, 2006).

    (5) Exceptions.

    If the agency, in writing, finds that an imminent peril to the public health, safety, or morals, to livestock and poultry health, or to natural resources requires adoption, amendment, or repeal of a rule, the agency may proceed without notice of hearing or upon abbreviated notice and hearing. Id. § 91-3(b). The governor or mayor may waive the notice and hearing requirements whenever a state or county agency is required to promulgate rules as a condition of receiving federal funds. Id. § 91-3(d). Such an agency is allowed no discretion in interpreting the federal provisions regarding the rules to be promulgated. Promulgations of such rules must be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the state prior to the waiver by the governor or mayor and posted on the internet. Id. § 91-3(d).

    (6) Penalties and remedies for failure to give adequate notice.

    "Any final action taken in violation of [the open meetings and notice provisions is] voidable upon proof of willful violation." Id. § 92-11. In addition, "[a]ny person who willfully violates any provision of [the Act regarding access to meetings and notice]" can be found guilty of a misdemeanor and dismissed from the board. Id. § 92-13 (1996).

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  • Idaho

    “Meeting” has a general definition under Idaho's Open Meeting Law (Idaho Code § 74-202(6)) but it is also further defined to identify various types of meetings that are subject to different public notice requirements such as “special meetings” (Idaho Code § 74-202(6)(b)) or “executive sessions.” Idaho Code § 74-206.

    The Open Meeting Law makes no distinction between informal or formal types of meetings, except that the definition of “deliberation” does not include “informal or impromptu discussions of a general nature which do not specifically relate to a matter then pending before the public agency for decision.” Idaho Code § 74-202(2). The Idaho Attorney General has concluded that the Open Meeting Law requirements must be followed in any meeting otherwise subject to the law, whether “formal, informal or social.” Office of the Attorney General, Idaho Open Meeting Law Manual, pg. 8 (https://ag.idaho.gov/office-resources/manuals/).  In the past, the Idaho Supreme Court had cast doubt upon that conclusion in decisions that have construed the Open Meeting Law. See, e.g., Baker v. Independent School District of Emmett, 107 Idaho 608, 691 P.2d 1223 (1984); State ex rel. Roark v. City of Hailey, 102 Idaho 511, 633 P.2d 576 (1981). However, the definition and notice provisions of the Idaho Open Meeting were substantially revised in 1992 in amendments that substantially remedied the difficulties caused by these court decisions.

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  • Illinois

    The Act states that it is the public policy of the state of Illinois "that its citizens shall be given . . . the right to attend all meetings at which any business of a public body is discussed or acted upon in any way." 5 ILCS 120/1. Public bodies subject to the Act must give public notice of all meetings, whether open or closed. See 5 ILCS 120/2.02. This right to attend is limited in circumstances where “the General Assembly has specifically determined that the public interest would be clearly endangered or the personal privacy or guaranteed rights of individuals would be clearly in danger of unwarranted invasion.” 5 ILCS 120/1. How notice is given depends on the circumstances discussed below. All meetings covered by the Act must be held at specified times and places that are convenient and open to the public. No meeting required by the Act to be public can be held on a legal holiday unless the regular meeting day falls on the holiday. See 5 ILCS 120/2.01.

    Note: The Illinois Act permits home rule units to enact, by ordinance, more stringent requirements than those set out in the Act "which would serve to give further notice to the public and facilitate public access to meetings." 5 ILCS 120/6. Local ordinances, therefore, should be checked for local open meetings provisions. (A home rule unit is defined by the Illinois Constitution as a county which has a chief executive officer elected by the electors of the county and any municipality which has a population of more than 25,000. Ill.Const. art. 7, §  6).

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  • Nebraska

    Neb. Rev. Stat. §84-1409(2) makes "all regular, special, or called meetings, formal or informal, of any public body for the purposes of briefing, discussion of public business, formation of tentative policy, or the taking of any action of the public body," subject to the terms of the Open Meetings Act.

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  • Ohio

    The statute does not define the term "regular meetings." A common sense reading of the statute indicates that regular meetings are those that are scheduled in advance at regular intervals as set forth or authorized in statutes or other legal authorities that govern the particular public body that is holding the meeting. See 1988 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 88-029 (a regular meeting is one held at prescheduled intervals).

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  • South Carolina

    All meetings of public bodies are subject to the act and required to be convened in public. S.C. Code Ann. § 30-4-60.

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  • Tennessee

    Both regular and special meetings are subject to the Sunshine Law. T.C.A. § 8-44-103 (1995).

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  • West Virginia

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

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