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E. Financial data of public bodies

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  • Alaska

    The Open Meetings Act allows, but does not require, discussion in a closed, executive session of "matters, the immediate knowledge of which would clearly have an adverse effect upon the finances of the public entity." AS 44.62.310(c)(1). This is subject to the requirement that this provision must be construed narrowly in order effectuate the public policies underlying the OMA and to avoid unnecessary executive sessions. The law also requires that the motion to convene an executive session must clearly and with specificity describe the subject of the proposed executive action without defeating the purpose of addressing the subject in private. So, for example, it would not be sufficient for a public body to go into executive session by simply stating that it was going to consider "financial matters," or even "matters the immediate knowledge of which would clearly have an effect on the finances" of the entity, without giving more specific information about what, by saying, e.g., "I move that we go into executive session to discuss the contract with the Firefighters' Union," or "I move that we go into executive session to discuss a purchase of land on Bragaw Street for use by the University for dormitories." No action may be taken in executive session, except to "give direction to an attorney or labor negotiator regarding the handling of a specific legal matter or pending labor negotiations."

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  • Arizona

    Such discussions are covered by OML unless the information or records are “exempt by law from public inspection.”  A.R.S. § 38-431.03(A)(2).

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  • Arkansas

    The FOIA does not exempt meetings at which financial issues are considered. See Ark. Op. Att’y Gen. No. 74-28 (state board cannot meet in closed session to decide which of several programs are to be funded). Because the act’s open meetings requirement applies only to governing bodies, a meeting of agency staff to review financial questions or prepare budget recommendations would not be open to the public. Other statutes touching on the issue seem to contemplate that budget sessions of governing bodies will be held in public. E.g., Ark. Code Ann. §§ 14-47-123, 14-47-125 (city board of directors).

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  • California

    Under both Acts, state bodies and local legislative bodies that invest pension funds may hold closed sessions to consider the purchase or sale of particular, specific pension fund investments. Cal. Gov’t Code §§ 11126(c)(16) (Bagley-Keene Act); 54956.81 (Brown Act).

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  • Connecticut

    There are no specific provisions or exemptions in FOIA on this issue. There are also no reported court decisions on this issue.

    An executive session may be allowed if an open session would result in the disclosure of exempt records. Conn. Gen. Stat. §1-200 (6)(E). See Records Outline at II.A.2 and IV.

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  • Delaware

    Meetings addressing the financial information of public bodies are open.

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  • District of Columbia

    Not specifically addressed.

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  • Georgia

    The Act does not exempt meetings concerning agency financial data.

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  • Hawaii

    Meetings concerning the financial aspects of "public bodies" are presumably open.

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  • Idaho

    Generally, a meeting to discuss financial data of public bodies must be open if the meeting otherwise falls within the Open Meeting Law. However, there are various types of information held by governmental bodies in Idaho that are exempt from the general statutes dealing with the public's right to inspect governmental records. The Open Meeting Law expressly permits a governing body to hold an executive session to discuss such records that are otherwise exempt from public inspection. Idaho Code § 74-206(1)(d).

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  • Illinois

    This could encompass a variety of topics, so whether a meeting discussing financial data is open depends on whether one of the exemptions applies.

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  • Indiana

    Unless authorized by a federal statute or other state statute, see Ind. Code § 5-14-1.5-1; § 5-14-1.5-6.1(b)(7),  or unless the meeting fits into the general categories of executive sessions in Ind. Code § 5-14-1.5-6.1(b), meetings regarding financial data of public bodies must be open to the public.

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  • Iowa

    The open meetings statute does not address the discussion of financial data, per se. If the other criteria of the statute are satisfied, e.g., majority, deliberation, etc., it would appear that the statute requires the meeting to be open.

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  • Maine

    Financial data of public bodies is generally a public record, with limited exceptions for such information as purchase or sale prices for public property.  See 1 M.R.S.A. § 405(6)(D).

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  • Maryland

    Meetings that relate to the acquisition of real property; matters concerning a proposal for the location, expansion or retention of a business or industrial organization within the State; the investment of public funds; and the marketing of public securities may be closed. § 3-305(b)(3)-(6). The Act also allows a body to close a meeting to "discuss, before a contract is awarded or bids are opened, a matter directly related to a negotiating strategy or the contents of a bid or proposal, if public discussion or disclosure would adversely impact the ability of the public body to participate in the competitive bidding or proposal process." § 3-305(b)(14).

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  • Michigan

    Presumably open.

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  • Montana

    Not a basis for closing a meeting.

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  • Nebraska

    No specific exemption. But, the "public interest" ordinarily demands that discussions of financial data be open to the public. Grein v. Board of Education, 216 Neb. 158, 164, 343 N.W.2d 718, 723 (1984).

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  • New Hampshire

    Subject to the Statute.

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  • New Jersey

    Access to financial records of a public body is governed by the OPRA Law and the common law.

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  • New Mexico

    Numerous state agencies have reporting requirements for certain categories of information, including financial data.  One particularly important source for agency information is the Sunshine Portal.  The Portal was created in 2011 pursuant to the Sunshine Portal Transparency Act, NMSA 1978 §§ 10-16D-1 et. seq., to provide public access to state government budgets, expenditures, revenue, and specific public school district information, and to make such information accessible on one central website.  New Mexico Sunshine Portal, http://sunshineportalnm.com/ (last updated Aug. 7, 2015).

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  • North Carolina

    Financial data of public bodies is a matter of public record pursuant to the Public Records Law, and nothing in the Open Meetings Law permits or requires such data to be the subject of a closed meeting.

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  • Ohio

    Open sessions unless an audit conference. Ohio Rev. Code § 121.22(B)(2),(D)(2).

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  • Oklahoma

    i. Open Meeting Act applies to meetings of the board of directors of a nonprofit corporation, where such corporation has contracted with a city and a public trust for the operation, maintenance and improvement of public property, and where the city makes annual appropriations to the public trust to pay to the corporation as an operating fee, where such meetings are held for the purpose of discussing business concerning such matters. 1980 OK AG 215.

    ii. Public trusts organized under 60 O.S. §§ 176 et seq. are "public bodies" within the meaning of the Open Meeting Act, and such public trusts must comply with and are subject to the Open Meeting Act. 1981 OK AG 109.

    iii. Open Meeting Act applies to meetings of the board of directors of a nonprofit corporation, where such corporation has contracted with a city for the operation, maintenance and improvements of a municipal park and the city makes annual appropriations to the corporation as an operating fee, where such meetings are held for the purpose of discussing business concerning such matters. 1981 OK AG 139.

    iv. Open Meeting Act applies to meetings of the officers of a nonprofit corporation operating public property under contract with a municipality, where matters to be discussed or taken up concern the administration of the contract or the operation, improvement or maintenance of such public property. 1981 OK AG 184.

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  • Oregon

    Other than public investments under ORS 192.660(1)(j), such matters are subject to the Public Records Law.

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  • Rhode Island

    No specific exemption except for exemption (7) on investing funds.

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  • South Carolina

    Financial data relating to the assertion of a claim against a body could be discussed in executive session, but a discussion generally on financial data is not authorized. S.C. Code Ann. § 30-4-70(a)(2).

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  • Tennessee

    Presumably open.

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  • Texas

    The financial data of public bodies is generally open.

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  • Utah

    Meetings concerning financial data are open to the public.

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  • Virginia

    Investment of public funds involving competition is addressed in Va. Code Ann. § 2.2-3711.A.6.   Investment funds managed by or on behalf of specific agencies concerning retirement plans is addressed in Va. Code Ann. § 2.2-3711.A.20.

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  • West Virginia

    Unless it comes within the scope of exemption nine — "[m]atters involving or affecting the purchase, sale or lease of property, advance construction planning, the investment of public funds or other matters involving competition which, if made public, might adversely affect the financial or other interest of the state or any political subdivision" (W. Va. Code § 6-9A-4(9)) — there is no specific exception allowing meetings concerned with financial data of public bodies to be closed.

    West Virginia Code § 6-9A-4 (b) (12) allows executive sessions involving discussions of "any matters which, by express provision of federal law, state statute or rule of court . . . or which is not considered a public record within the meaning of the freedom of information act" is "rendered confidential."

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  • Wyoming

    There is no statute that deals directly with financial data of public bodies at public meetings. The 1989 legislature amended the Public Records Act to make employment contracts of public officials and employees available for public inspection and to remove them from the exception provided for personnel files. Wyo. Stat. § 16-4-203(d)(iii), as amended by Session Laws, 1989, Chapter 10 (1977 & Cum. Supp. 1996).

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