Requiring Agendas for Public Meetings

H.3192 is a response to a recent State Supreme Court decision stating that public bodies need not post an agenda prior to meeting. This legislation would require all public bodies to post an agenda in a publicly accessible place and on a website (if they have one) at least 24 hours prior to a regularly scheduled or special meeting. The bill would also prohibit a public body (including legislative committees) from adding an item to a meeting agenda without 24 hour notice to the public; members of public bodies can override this latter provision and add an agenda item without notice by a two thirds vote. Finally, public bodies would be required to give notification of meeting places and agendas 24 hours ahead of time to any member of the public who requests that notification.

In general, this provision would alleviate the effects of the Court’s pernicious decision. The bill could still be improved, however, by strengthening subsection 30-4-80(c), which requires select subcommittees merely to make reasonable efforts to give timely notice of meetings. All committees and subcommittees should be subject to the same 24 hour rule.

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