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G. Access to meeting materials, reports and agendas

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  • Alaska

    The Open Meetings Act does not contain any requirement for publication of an agenda or other subject matter notice of items to be discussed at meetings. A notice provision added to the OMA in 1985 states: "The notice must include the date, time and place of the meeting, and if the meeting is by teleconference the location of any teleconferencing facilities that will be used." AS 44.62.310(e). This could support an argument that subject matter notice, or specific agenda and other material, are not required by the language specifying "reasonable public notice."  However, an argument might be made that such materials and information must be made available pursuant to the OMA’s requirement to give “reasonable public notice,” or that from the time they are set forth in documents they are subject to production under the Public Records Act, though it does not appear that courts have addressed these arguments to date.  Some support for such an argument might be found in section (a) of the OMA, which provides that “Agency materials that are to be considered at the meeting shall be made available at teleconference locations if practicable,” which implicitly assumes that “agency materials” will be available at the place from which the teleconferenced meeting originates. There may be other statutes, regulations, or local ordinances that require more from particular agencies. See, e.g., AMC 2.30.035(C) specifying that the agenda for regular Anchorage assembly meetings is public information that must be published not less than 36 hours prior to regular assembly meetings.

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  • Arizona

    Agendas must be available to the public at least 24 hours before the meeting.  A.R.S. § 38-431.02(G).  Meeting materials and reports are public records pursuant to A.R.S. § 39-121 et seq.

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  • Arkansas

    Nothing in the FOIA requires a governing body to keep minutes of its proceedings, though several other statutes place that duty upon particular entities. E.g., Ark. Code Ann. §§ 14-14-903(a) (county quorum court), 17-82-205(e) (State Board of Dental Examiners). If minutes or similar records are kept or a tape recording of the meeting is made, these materials are open to the public. Ark. Op. Att’y Gen. Nos. 87-284, 86-316.

    The press and public have a right to ascertain how each member of the governing body voted on a particular question, no matter what method of voting is employed. If a ballot is used, each ballot must be signed by the member casting it and made available for public inspection. Depoyster v. Cole, 298 Ark. 203, 766 S.W.2d 606 (1989), overruled on other grounds by Harris v. City of Ft. Smith, 366 Ark. 277, 234 S.W.3d 875 (2006); Ark. Op. Att’y Gen. Nos. 92-124, 88-171. If an initial vote is later expunged and another vote taken, ballots from the first vote must also be made available. Ark. Op. Att’y Gen. No. 74-72.

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  • California

    Under both Acts, agendas of public meetings and other writings, when distributed to all or a majority of all, of the members of the body are disclosable public records under the California Public Records Act. Cal. Gov’t Code §§ 11125.1(a) (Bagley-Keene Act); 54957.5 (a). These records are to be made available upon request without delay. Id.

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  • Connecticut

    No specific provisions.

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  • Delaware

    Agendas must be public, but the statute does not address other reports and materials.

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  • District of Columbia

    Written transcripts for all open meetings are publicly available, and copies of the transcripts are available upon request "at reasonable cost." D.C. Code Ann. § 1-207.42.  Meeting materials, reports, and agendas would likely be available as "public records" under the D.C. Act.  Id. § 2-532.

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  • Georgia

    The Act requires agencies to post and make publicly available as far in advance of a meeting as possible an agenda of all matters expected to come before the agency at the meeting.  O.C.G.A. § 50-14-1(e)(1).  Materials and reports considered at a meeting should be publicly available at the meeting pursuant to the Open Records Act.

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  • Hawaii

    UIPA requires mandatory disclosure of any “[i]nformation contained in or compiled from a transcript, minutes, report, or summary of a proceeding open to the public.” Haw. Rev. Stat. § 92F-12(a)(16).

    Additionally, the Sunshine Law requires that an agenda be included as a part of the notice boards must provide six days in advance of any regular, special, or rescheduled meeting. Id. § 92-7(b). The notice and agenda requirements also apply to executive meetings “when anticipated in advance.” Id. § 92-7(a). The agenda must list all of the items to be considered at the forthcoming meeting and in the case of an executive meeting, the purpose of the meeting. Id. § 92-7(a). A copy of the notice (and agenda) must be filed in either the office of the lieutenant governor or the appropriate county clerk's office, and in the board's office for public inspection. Id. § 92-7(b). The notice is also required to be posted at the site of the meeting whenever feasible. Id.

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  • Idaho

    An agenda is required for each meeting. Idaho Code § 74-204(4). The agenda is required to be posted in the same manner as the notice of the meeting. Id. An agenda may be amended, provided that a good faith effort is made to include, in the original agenda notice, all items known to be probable items of discussion. Id.

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  • Illinois

    Minutes of open sessions are available upon approval at subsequent meetings. Materials provided to board members may be available pursuant to a FOIA request.

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  • Indiana

    The Access to Public Records Act governs public access to public agency records. Ind. Code § 5-14-3-3(a). The general rule is that all public agency records are open to the public for inspection and copying, id., but the act lists several mandatory and discretionary exemptions. See id. § 5-14-3-4(a), (b).

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  • Iowa

    The minutes taken at open meetings “shall be public records open to public inspection.” Iowa Code § 21.3.  Minutes taken at closed meetings are not subject to public inspection unless court order has been granted. Iowa Code § 21.5.

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  • Kansas

    Under the Kansas Open Records Act, draft minutes of a county commission meeting are "preliminary drafts" that would fall within the exception in K.S.A. 45-221(a)(20), and the board of county commissioners is not required to disclose them to the public prior to being formally approved by the board unless the draft minutes are publicly cited or identified either in an open meeting, or in an agenda of an open meeting. Kan. Att’y Gen. Op. 2013-5.

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  • Kentucky

    If the public agency has a written agenda for the meeting (which is required for all special meetings), the agenda is publicly available. See Ky. Rev. Stat. 61.823. In addition, public agencies are required to make publicly available the minutes of action taken at every meeting, setting forth an accurate record of votes and actions at such meetings. See Ky. Rev. Stat. 61.835. Other documents, reports, or materials pertaining to a public agency’s meetings are subject to the Open Records Act, Ky. Rev. Stat. 61.870 through 61.884.

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  • Louisiana

    No specific provisions.

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  • Maine

    The minutes of any public proceeding are open to public inspection, as are any materials, reports, and agendas unless prepared for use during a lawful executive session or made during a lawful executive session.  See Blethen Me. Newspapers, Inc. v. Portland Sch. Comm., 2008 ME 69, ¶ 18, 947 A.2d 479, 484; 1 M.R.S.A. § 403(2).

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  • Maryland

    A public body must provide an agenda that contains “known items or business topics to be discussed’ and indicates whether any portion of the meeting will be closed. § 3-302.1. If the agenda has been determined at the time of notice, the agenda shall be made available along with the notice. § 3-302.1(a)(2). In any event, a public body must make the agenda available as soon as practicable and no later than 24 hours before the meeting. § 3-302.1(a)(3). The public body need not include information related to the portion of the agenda that is closed. § 3-302.1(c). Otherwise, there is no requirement for a public body to provide members of the public with copies of documents under review. OMA Manual, at 3-2. However, the public must be provided with some information regarding the topics of discussion and what actions the public body may take. 9 OMCB Opinions 206, 212-13 (2015) (advising that oral summaries or general descriptions of documents under consideration will suffice). To the extent a public body’s meeting materials or reports are public records and are not otherwise exempt from disclosure, they are obtainable via a Public Information Act request pursuant to Md. Code Ann., Gen. Prov. §§ 4-101 to 4-601 (2017).

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  • Montana

    The Montana Constitutional “right to participate” in Article II, Section 8, requires the public body to provide access to all materials considered in connection with any decision made by the body. Bryan v. Yellowstone Co. Elem. Sch. Dist. No. 2, 60 P.3d 381 (2002).

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  • Nebraska

    “Public bodies shall make available at the meeting…for examination and copying by members of the public at least one copy of all reproducible written material to be discussed at an open meeting.” Neb. Rev. Stat. §84-1412(8).

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  • Nevada

    NRS 241.0200(6) states that a public body shall, at no charge, provide at least one copy of a meeting agenda, a proposed ordinance or regulation, and supporting reports or materials.

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  • New Hampshire

    The Statute exempts from disclosure all “preliminary drafts, notes, and memoranda and other documents not in their final form,” which were “not disclosed, circulated, or available to a quorum or a majority of the members of a public body.” RSA 91-A:5, IX.

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  • New Jersey

    The accessibility of such documents and records is governed by the Open Public Records Act.

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  • New Mexico

    Meeting notices shall include an agenda containing a list of specific items of business to be discussed or transacted at the meeting or information on how the public may obtain a copy of such an agenda.  NMSA 1978 § 10-15-1 (F). There are no specific provisions regarding gaining access to meeting materials or reports.

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  • North Carolina

    Any materials created or received related to a meeting of a public body are public records unless specifically exempted by statute. They are available for public inspection and copying and, under the Public Records Law. Release of the materials cannot be “timed,” meaning that they cannot be withheld until the time of the meeting. Materials are public records from the time of creation or receipt.

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  • Ohio

    A public body must promptly prepare, file, maintain, and allow the public to inspect the minutes of open meetings, along with the “general subject matter of discussion” in any executive session. R.C. 121.22(C).  The minutes must be “full and accurate,” and must include "more than a record of mere roll call votes." White v. Clinton Cty. Bd. of Commrs., 76 Ohio St.3d 416, 419-420, 1996-Ohio-380. Courts have extended this requirement to a clerk’s handwritten notes used to prepare the minutes of a public body’s open meeting. State ex rel. Verhovec v. Marietta, 2013-Ohio-5415 (4th Dist.).

    The Open Meetings Act expressly invalidates any action taken in executive session that is not later adopted in an open meeting of the public body (R.C. 121.22(H)), and so a public body may not withhold a settlement agreement resolving litigation, even though it can maintain the confidentiality of the legal discussions with the public body’s attorney resulting in the agreement under R.C. 121.22(G)(3). State ex rel. Kinsley v. Berea Bd. of Ed., 64 Ohio App. 659, 664, 582 N.E.2d 653, 656 (8th Dist. 1990). Similarly, although meetings between public employers and employee organizations are private and not public meetings under R.C. 4117.21, the collective bargaining agreements resulting from those negotiations are public records and subject to disclosure under the Public Records Act. State ex rel. Findlay Publishing Co. v. Hancock Cty. Bd. of Commrs., 80 Ohio St.3d 134, 1997-Ohio-353.

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  • Oklahoma

    Access to the records of the public is authorized under the Oklahoma Open Records Act. Unless a document is exempted from disclosure, the meeting materials, reports and agendas must be provided upon request.

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  • South Carolina

    All documents from the previous six months that were produced by the public body or its agent and were distributed to or reviewed by a member of the public body during a public meeting must be made available for public inspection during the hours of operation of the public body. S.C. Code Ann. § 30-4-30(D)(4).

    The minutes of a meeting for the preceding six-month period are also available for public inspection. S.C. Code Ann. § 30-4-30(D)(1). Although agenda are not specifically mentioned alongside materials or minutes (as mentioned above) because agenda are required to be posted prior to a meeting, typically no written S.C. FOIA request is required to obtain this document.

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  • South Dakota

    The public has access to certain meeting materials umder SDCL §1-27-1.16.  That statute provides that “any printed material relating to an [open meeting] agenda item [that] is prepared or distributed by or at the direction of the governing body or any or its employees and…distributed before the meeting to all members of the governing body...shall either be posted on the governing body’s website or made available at the official business office…at least twenty-four hours prior to the meeting or at the time the material is distributed to the governing body, whichever is later.  If the material is not posted to the governing body’s website, at least one copy…shall be available in the meeting room….”  A violation is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

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  • Tennessee

    These materials should be available as public records. The Act, however, does not guarantee that citizens may speak or otherwise participate in a meeting that is subject to the Act. Wills v. City of Memphis, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 54565 (W.D. Tenn. April 25, 2016)

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  • Texas

    The minutes and recordings of an open meeting are explicitly designated public records, “and shall be available for public inspection and copying on request to the governmental body’s chief administrative officer or the officer’s designee.” Tex. Gov’t Code § 551.022.

    Educational institutions, including university systems and junior college districts, are required to post any non-confidential written agenda or related supplemental materials to the internet, in advance of the applicable meeting. Tex. Gov’t Code §§ 551.1281, 551.1282.

    Section 551.104 provides for access to the certified agenda and recording of executive sessions in litigation involving an alleged violation of the Act.

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  • Utah

    Written minutes shall include the substance of all matters proposed, discussed, or decided. Utah Code § 52-4-203(2)(a)(iii). A state public body and a specified local public body shall require an individual who, at an open meeting of the public body, publicly presents or provides electronic information, relating to an item on the public body’s meeting agenda, to provide the public body, at the time of the meeting, an electronic or hard copy of the electronic information for inclusion in the public record. Id. § 52-4-203(4)(d).

    Pending minutes must be available to the public within 30 days after holding the open meeting. Approved minutes must be available within three business days of approval by posting to the website and making minutes available at the public body’s primary office along with any public materials distributed at the meeting. Id. § 52-4-203(4)(e).

    Public notice must include the meeting agenda. Id. § 52-4-202(1)(b). Although “[t]he absence of an item of business on the Agenda does not preclude its consideration, it would clearly violate the public policy behind the Act to strategically hide sensitive public issues behind the rubric of other business.” Ward v. Richfield City, 798 P.2d 757, 759 (Utah 1990) (quotations omitted).

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  • Vermont

    At least 48 hours prior to a regular meeting, and at least 24 hours prior to a special meeting, a meeting agenda must be posted to a website that the public body maintains or designates, if one exists.  1 V.S.A. § 312(d)(1).  In addition, a municipal public body must post the agenda in or near the municipal office and in at least two other designated public places in the municipality. Id. A meeting agenda must be made available to a person prior to the meeting upon specific request.  Id.  Any addition to or deletion from the agenda is required to be made as the first act of business at the meeting, but any other adjustment to the agenda may be made at any time during the meeting. Id.  Agendas should allow interested members of the public to be reasonably informed of what will be discussed at the meeting.

     

    The Vermont Supreme Court has held that a public body’s discussion of a confidential document to which an exemption under the public records act may ultimately apply does not automatically render the document subject to disclosure, and the failure to go into executive session does not violate the Public Records Act. See 232511 Invs., Ltd. v. Town of Stowe Dev. Review Bd., 2005 VT 59, ¶¶ 4-5, 878 A.2d 282, 284 (Vt. 2005).

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  • Virginia

    A copy of the proposed agenda, all agenda packets, and all non-exempt materials furnished to members of a public body for a meeting must be made available for public inspection at the same time the documents are furnished to members of the public body.  Va. Code Ann. § 2.2-3707.F.

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  • Washington

    As of 2014, public agencies are required to post the agendas of their governing bodies’ regular board meeting online no later than 24 hours before the published start time of the meeting. RCW 42.30.077.

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  • West Virginia

    The Open Governmental Proceedings Act requires that “minutes of all meetings except minutes of executive sessions, if any are taken, shall be available to the public within a reasonable time after the meeting.” Moreover, it is the duty of the attorney general to compile the statutory and case law pertaining to the Open Meetings law and to prepare appropriate summaries and interpretations for the purpose of informing public officials subject of the requirements of this article. The secretary of state, the clerks of the county commissions, joint clerks of the county commissions and circuit courts, and the city clerks or recorders of state municipalities must provide a copy of the material compiled by the attorney general to all elected and appointed public officials within their respective jurisdictions. W. Va. Code § 6-9A-12.

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