Overview of the New Open Meeting Law for State and Local Public Bodies

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Overview of the New Open Meeting Law for State and Local Public Bodies

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Overview of the New Open Meeting Law for State and Local Public Bodies

  1. 1. 1Overview of the New Open Meeting LawforState and Local Public BodiesJune 23, 2010Chapter 28 of the Acts of 2009,Sections 17 through 20Comparisonwith theprovisions ofthe ExistingOpen MeetingLawCorresponding Provisions of theExistingLOCAL Open Meeting LawCorresponding Provisions of theExistingSTATE Open Meeting LawAN ACT TO IMPROVE THELAWS RELATING TOCAMPAIGN FINANCE, ETHICSAND LOBBYING.Be it enacted by the Senate andHouse of Representatives in GeneralCourt assembled, and by theauthority of the same as follows:“=”NEW and OLDprovision are THESAME“N”NEW provision is amodification of orchange in the OLDprovision“>”NEW provision has nocorrespondingprovision in the OLDOML“<”OLD provision has nocorrespondingprovision in the NEWOMLExcerpts from the existing Open MeetingLaw in this column are from G.L. c. 39,Sections 23A & 23B (the “local” OML).For ease of reference:c. 39 = Local Open Meeting Law [G.L. c.39, Sections 23A & 23B]c. 30A = State Open Meeting Law [G.L. c.30A, Sections 11 & 11A]c. 34 = County Open Meeting Law [G.L. c.34, Sections 9F & 9G]Excerpts from the existing Open MeetingLaw in this column are from G.L. c. 30A,Sections 11A & 11A-1/2For ease of reference:c. 39 = Local Open Meeting Law [G.L. c.39, Sections 23A & 23B]c. 30A = State Open Meeting Law [G.L. c.30A, Sections 11 & 11A]c. 34 = County Open Meeting Law [G.L. c.34, Sections 9F & 9G]
  2. 2. 2SECTION 17. Sections 11A and11A½ of chapter 30A of the GeneralLaws are hereby repealed.SECTION 18. Said chapter 30A ishereby amended by adding thefollowing 8 sections:-Section 18: DefinitionsAs used in this section and sections 19 to 25,inclusive, the following words shall, unlessthe context clearly requires otherwise, havethe following meanings:Section 23A. DefinitionsThe following terms as used in sectionstwenty-three B and twenty-three C shallhave the following meanings:—Section 11A: DefinitionsThe following terms as used in section elevenA 1/2 shall have the following meanings:“Deliberation”, an oral or writtencommunication through any medium,including electronic mail, between or amonga quorum of a public body on any publicbusiness within its jurisdiction; provided,however, that “deliberation” shall notinclude the distribution of a meeting agenda,scheduling information or distribution ofother procedural meeting or the distributionof reports or documents that may bediscussed at a meeting, provided that noopinion of a member is expressed.N “Deliberation”, a verbal exchange betweena quorum of members of a governmentalbody attempting to arrive at a decision onany public business within its jurisdiction.“Deliberation”, a verbal exchange betweena quorum of members of a governmentalbody attempting to arrive at a decision onany public business within its jurisdiction.“Emergency”, a sudden, generallyunexpected occurrence or set ofcircumstances demanding immediate action.= “Emergency”, a sudden, generallyunexpected occurrence or set ofcircumstances demanding immediate action.“Emergency”, a sudden, generallyunexpected occurrence or set ofcircumstances demanding immediate action.“Executive session”, any part of a meetingof a public body closed to the public fordeliberation of certain matters.= “Executive session”, any meeting of agovernmental body which is closed tocertain persons for deliberation on certainmatters.“Executive session”, any meeting or part ofa meeting of a governmental body which isclosed to certain persons for deliberation oncertain matters.“Intentional violation”, an act or omissionby a public body or a member thereof, inknowing by violating the open meeting law.> <Undefined> <Undefined>“Meeting”, a deliberation by a public bodywith respect to any matter within the body’sN “Meeting”, any corporal convening anddeliberation of a governmental body for“Meeting”, any corporal convening anddeliberation of a governmental body for
  3. 3. 3jurisdiction; provided, however, “meeting”shall not include:(a) an on-site inspection of a project orprogram, so long as the members do notdeliberate;(b) attendance by a quorum of a publicbody at a public or private gathering,including a conference or training programor a media, social or other event, so long asthe members do not deliberate;(c) attendance by a quorum of a public bodyat a meeting of another public body that hascomplied with the notice requirements of theopen meeting law, so long as the visitingmembers communicate only by openparticipation in the meeting on those mattersunder discussion by the host body and donot deliberate;(d) a meeting of a quasi-judicial board orcommission held for the sole purpose ofmaking a decision required in anadjudicatory proceeding brought before it;or(e) a session of a town meeting convenedunder section 10 of chapter 39 which wouldinclude the attendance by a quorum of apublic body at any such session.which a quorum is required in order tomake a decision at which any publicbusiness or public policy matter over whichthe governmental body has supervision,control, jurisdiction or advisory power isdiscussed or considered; but shall notinclude any on-site inspection of any projector program.- - -This section shall not apply to any chancemeeting, or a social meeting at whichmatters relating to official business arediscussed so long as no final agreement isreached. No chance meeting or socialmeeting shall be used in circumvention ofthe spirit or requirements of this section todiscuss or act upon a matter over which thegovernmental body has supervision, control,jurisdiction or advisory power.which a quorum is required in order tomake a decision at which any public policymatter over which the governmental bodyhas supervision, control, jurisdiction oradvisory power is discussed or considered;but shall not include any on-site inspectionof any project or program.- - -This section shall not apply to any chancemeeting or social meeting at which mattersrelating to official business are discussed solong as no final agreement is reached. Nochance meeting or social meeting shall beused in circumvention of the spirit orrequirements of this section to discuss or actupon a matter over which the governmentalbody has supervision, control, jurisdiction,or advisory power.“Minutes”, the written report of a meetingcreated by a public body required bysubsection (a) of section 23 and section 5Aof chapter 66.> <Undefined> <Undefined>“Open meeting law”, sections 18 to 25, > <Undefined> <Undefined>
  4. 4. 4inclusive.“Post notice”, to display conspicuously thewritten announcement of a meeting either inhard copy or electronic format.> <Undefined> <Undefined>“Preliminary screening”, the initial stage ofscreening applicants conducted by acommittee or subcommittee of a public bodysolely for the purpose of providing to thepublic body a list of those applicantsqualified for further consideration orinterview.> <Undefined> <Undefined>“Public body”, a multiple-member board,commission, committee or subcommitteewithin the executive or legislative branch orwithin any county, district, city, region ortown, however created, elected, appointed orotherwise constituted, established to serve apublic purpose; provided, however, that thegoverning board of a local housing,redevelopment or other similar authorityshall be deemed a local public body;provided, further, that the governing boardor body of any other authority established bythe general court to serve a public purpose inthe commonwealth or any part thereof shallbe deemed a state public body; provided,further, that “public body” shall not includethe general court or the committees or recesscommissions thereof, bodies of the judicialbranch or bodies appointed by aconstitutional officer solely for the purposeof advising a constitutional officer and shallnot include the board of bank incorporationor the policyholders protective board; andprovided further, that a subcommittee shallinclude any multiple-member body createdto advise or make recommendations to aN “Governmental body”, every board,commission, committee or subcommittee ofany district, city, region or town, howeverelected, appointed or otherwise constituted,and the governing board of a local housing,redevelopment or similar authority;provided, however, that this definition shallnot include a town meeting.“Governmental body”, a state board,committee, special committee,subcommittee or commission, howevercreated or constituted within the executiveor legislative branch of the commonwealthor the governing board or body of anyauthority established by the general court toserve a public purpose in thecommonwealth or any part thereof, but shallnot include the general court or thecommittees or recess commissions thereof,or bodies of the judicial branch, or anymeeting of a quasi-judicial board orcommission held for the sole purpose ofmaking a decision required in anadjudicatory proceeding brought before it,nor shall it include the board of bankincorporation or the PolicyholdersProtective Board.
  5. 5. 5public body.“Quorum”, a simple majority of themembers of the public body, unlessotherwise provided in a general or speciallaw, executive order or other authorizingprovision.= “Quorum”, a simple majority of agovernmental body unless otherwisedefined by constitution, charter, rule or lawapplicable to such governing body.“Quorum”, a simple majority of agovernmental body unless otherwisedefined by constitution, charter, rule or lawapplicable to such governing body.<Undefined> < “Made public”, when the records of anexecutive session have been approved bythe members of the respective governmentalbody attending such session for release tothe public and notice of such approval hasbeen entered in the records of such body.“Made public”, when the records of anexecutive session have been approved bythe members of the respective governmentalbody attending such session for release tothe public and notice of such approval hasbeen entered in the records of such body.SECTION 19 Chapter 39: Section 23B. Open meetingsof governmental bodies.Chapter 30A: Section 11A-1/2. Openmeetings of governmental bodies.(a) There shall be in the department of theattorney general a division of opengovernment under the direction of a directorof open government. The attorney generalshall designate an assistant attorney generalas the director of the open governmentdivision. The director may appoint andremove, subject to the approval of theattorney general, such expert, clerical andother assistants as the work of the divisionmay require. The division shall perform theduties imposed upon the attorney general bythe open meeting law, which may includeparticipating, appearing and intervening inany administrative and judicial proceedingspertaining to the enforcement of the openmeeting law. For the purpose of suchparticipation, appearance, intervention andtraining authorized by this chapter theattorney general may expend such funds asmay be appropriated therefor.>(b) The attorney general shall create anddistribute educational materials and provide>
  6. 6. 6training to public bodies in order to fosterawareness and compliance with the openmeeting law. Open meeting law trainingmay include, but shall not be limited to,instruction in:(1) the general background of the legalrequirements for the open meeting law;(2) applicability of sections 18 to 25,inclusive, to governmental bodies;(3) the role of the attorney general inenforcing the open meeting law; and(4) penalties and other consequences forfailure to comply with this chapter.(c) There shall be an open meeting lawadvisory commission. The commissionshall consist of 5 members, 2 of whom shallbe the chairmen of the joint committee onstate administration and regulatoryoversight; 1 of whom shall be the presidentof the Massachusetts Municipal Associationor his designee; 1 of whom shall be thepresident of the Massachusetts NewspaperPublishers Association or his designee; and1 of whom shall be the attorney general orhis designee.The commission shall review issues relativeto the open meeting law and shall submit tothe attorney general recommendations forchanges to the regulations, trainings, andeducational initiatives relative to the openmeeting law as it deems necessary andappropriate.>(d) The attorney general shall, not later thanJanuary 31, file annually with thecommission a report providing informationon the enforcement of the open meeting lawduring the preceding calendar year. The>
  7. 7. 7report shall include, but not be limited to:(1) the number of open meeting lawcomplaints received by the attorney general;(2) the number of hearings convened as theresult of open meeting law complaints bythe attorney general;(3) a summary of the determinations ofviolations made by the attorney general;(4) a summary of the orders issued as theresult of the determination of an openmeeting law violation by the attorneygeneral;(5) an accounting of the fines obtained bythe attorney general as the result of openmeeting law enforcement actions;(6) the number of actions filed in superiorcourt seeking relief from an order of theattorney general; and(7) any additional information relevant tothe administration and enforcement of theopen meeting law that the attorney generaldeems appropriate.SECTION 20(a) Except as provided in section 21, allmeetings of a public body shall be open tothe public.N All meetings of a governmental body shallbe open to the public and any person shallbe permitted to attend any meeting exceptas otherwise provided by this section.No quorum of a governmental body shallmeet in private for the purpose of decidingon or deliberating toward a decision on anymatter except as provided by this section.All meetings of a governmental body shallbe open to the public and any person shallbe permitted to attend any meeting exceptas otherwise provided by this section.No quorum of a governmental body shallmeet in private for the purpose of decidingon or deliberating toward a decision on anymatter except as provided by this section.(b) Except in an emergency, in addition toany notice otherwise required by law, apublic body shall post notice of everymeeting at least 48 hours prior to suchmeeting, excluding Saturdays, Sundays andlegal holidays. In an emergency, a publicN Except in an emergency, a notice of everymeeting of any governmental body shall befiled with the clerk of the city or town inwhich the body acts, and the notice or acopy thereof shall, at least forty-eight hours,including Saturdays but not Sundays andExcept in an emergency, a notice of everymeeting of a governmental body subject tothis section shall be filed with the secretaryof state, and a copy thereof posted in theoffice of the executive office foradministration and finance at least forty-
  8. 8. 8body shall post notice as soon as reasonablypossible prior to such meeting. Notice shallbe printed in a legible, easily understandableformat and shall contain the date, time andplace of such meeting and a listing of topicsthat the chair reasonably anticipates will bediscussed at the meeting.legal holidays, prior to such meeting, bepublicly posted in the office of such clerk oron the principal official bulletin board ofsuch city or town.eight hours, including Saturdays but notSundays and legal holidays, prior to thetime of such meeting. The notice shall beprinted in easily readable type and shallinclude the date, time and place of suchmeeting. Such filing and posting shall bethe responsibility of the officer calling suchmeetings.(c) For meetings of a local public body,notice shall be filed with the municipal clerkand posted in a manner conspicuouslyvisible to the public at all hours in or on themunicipal building in which the clerk’soffice is located.For meetings of a regional or district publicbody, notice shall be filed and posted ineach city or town within the region ordistrict in the manner prescribed for localpublic bodies. For meetings of a regionalschool district, the secretary of the regionalschool district committee shall beconsidered to be its clerk and shall filenotice with the clerk of each city or townwithin such district and shall post the noticein the manner prescribed for local publicbodies. For meetings of a county publicbody, notice shall be filed in the office of thecounty commissioners and a copy of thenotice shall be publicly posted in a mannerconspicuously visible to the public at allhours in such place or places as the countycommissioners shall designate for thepurpose.For meetings of a state public body, noticeshall be filed with the attorney general byposting on a website in accordance withprocedures established for this purpose.N The secretary of a regional school districtcommittee shall be considered to be its clerkand he shall file the notice of meetings ofthe committee with the clerk of each city ortown within such district and each suchclerk shall post the notice in his office or onthe principal official bulletin board of thecity or town and such secretary shall postsuch notice in his office or on the principalofficial bulletin board of the district. If themeeting shall be of a regional or districtgovernmental body, the officer calling themeeting shall file the notice thereof with theclerk of each city and town within suchregion or district, and each such clerk shallpost the notice in his office or on theprincipal official bulletin board of the cityor town. The notice shall be printed ineasily readable type and shall contain thedate, time and place of such meeting. Suchfiling and posting shall be the responsibilityof the officer calling such meeting.
  9. 9. 9The attorney general shall have the authorityto prescribe or approve alternative methodsof notice where the attorney generaldetermines such alternative will afford moreeffective notice to the public.(d) The attorney general may by regulationor letter ruling, authorize remoteparticipation by members of a public bodynot present at the meeting location;provided, however, that the absent membersand all persons present at the meetinglocation are clearly audible to each other;and provided, further, that a quorum of thebody, including the chair, are present at themeeting location. Such authorized membersmay vote and shall not be deemed absent forthe purposes of section 23D of chapter 39.>(e) After notifying the chair of the publicbody, any person may make a video or audiorecording of an open session of a meeting ofa public body, or may transmit the meetingthrough any medium, subject to reasonablerequirements of the chair as to the number,placement and operation of equipment usedso as not to interfere with the conduct of themeeting. At the beginning of the meetingthe chair shall inform other attendees of anysuch recordings.N A meeting of a governmental body may berecorded by any person in attendance bymeans of a tape recorder or any other meansof sonic reproduction or by means ofvideotape equipment fixed in one or moredesignated locations determined by thegovernmental body except when a meetingis held in executive session; provided, thatin such recording there is no activeinterference with the conduct of themeeting.A meeting of a governmental body may berecorded by any person in attendance bymeans of a tape recorder or any other meansof sonic reproduction except when ameeting is held in executive session;provided, that in such recording there is noactive interference with the conduct of themeeting.(f) No person shall address a meeting of apublic body without permission of the chair,and all persons shall, at the request of thechair, be silent. No person shall disrupt theproceedings of a meeting of a public body.If, after clear warning from the chair, aperson continues to disrupt the proceedings,the chair may order the person to withdrawfrom the meeting and if the person does notN G.L. c. 39,§ 23(C):Section 23C. No person shall address apublic meeting of a governmental bodywithout permission of the presiding officerat such meeting, and all persons shall, at therequest of such presiding officer, be silent.If, after warning from the presiding officer,a person persists in disorderly behavior, saidG.L. c. 39,§ 23(C):Section 23C. No person shall address apublic meeting of a governmental bodywithout permission of the presiding officerat such meeting, and all persons shall, at therequest of such presiding officer, be silent.If, after warning from the presiding officer,a person persists in disorderly behavior, said
  10. 10. 10withdraw, the chair may authorize aconstable or other officer to remove theperson from the meeting.officer may order him to withdraw from themeeting, and, if he does not withdraw, mayorder a constable or any other person toremove him and confine him in someconvenient place until the meeting isadjourned.officer may order him to withdraw from themeeting, and, if he does not withdraw, mayorder a constable or any other person toremove him and confine him in someconvenient place until the meeting isadjourned.(g) Within 2 weeks of qualification foroffice, all persons serving on a public bodyshall certify, on a form prescribed by theattorney general, the receipt of a copy of theopen meeting law, regulations promulgatedpursuant to section 25 and a copy of theeducational materials prepared by theattorney general explaining the openmeeting law and its application pursuant tosection 19. Unless otherwise directed orapproved by the attorney general, theappointing authority, city or town clerk orthe executive director or other appropriateadministrator of a state or regional body, ortheir designees, shall obtain suchcertification from each person upon enteringservice and shall retain it subject to theapplicable records retention schedule wherethe body maintains its official records. Thecertification shall be evidence that themember of a public body has read andunderstands the requirements of the openmeeting law and the consequences ofviolating it.N Upon qualification for office following anappointment or election to a governmentalbody, as defined in this section, the membershall be furnished by the city or town clerkwith a copy of this section. Each suchmember shall sign a writtencknowledgement that he has been providedwith such a copy.Upon qualification for office following anappointment or election to a governmentalbody, a member shall be furnished by thestate secretary with a copy of this section.Each member shall sign a writtenacknowledgment that he has been providedwith such a copy.SECTION 21(a) A public body may meet in executivesession only for the following purposes:(1) To discuss the reputation, character,physical condition or mental health, ratherthan professional competence, of anindividual, or to discuss the discipline or= Nothing except the limitation contained inthis section shall be construed to prevent thegovernmental body from holding anexecutive session after an open meeting hasbeen convened and a recorded vote has beentaken to hold an executive session.Nothing except the limitations contained inthis section shall be construed to prevent thegovernmental body from holding anexecutive session after an open meeting hasbeen convened and after a recorded vote hasbeen taken to hold an executive session.
  11. 11. 11dismissal of, or complaints or chargesbrought against, a public officer, employee,staff member or individual. The individualto be discussed in such executive sessionshall be notified in writing by the publicbody at least 48 hours prior to the proposedexecutive session; provided, however, thatnotification may be waived upon writtenagreement of the parties. A public body shallhold an open session if the individualinvolved requests that the session be open. Ifan executive session is held, such individualshall have the following rights:i. to be present at such executive sessionduring deliberations which involve thatindividual;ii. to have counsel or a representative ofhis own choosing present and attending forthe purpose of advising the individual andnot for the purpose of active participation inthe executive session;iii. to speak on his own behalf; andiv. to cause an independent record to becreated of said executive session by audio-recording or transcription, at the individual’sexpense.The rights of an individual set forth in thisparagraph are in addition to the rights that hemay have from any other source, including,but not limited to, rights under any laws orcollective bargaining agreements and theexercise or non-exercise of the individualrights under this section shall not beconstrued as a waiver of any rights of theindividual.Executive sessions may be held only for thefollowing purposes:(1) To discuss the reputation, character,physical condition or mental health ratherthan the professional competence of anindividual, provided that the individualinvolved in such executive session has beennotified in writing by the governmentalbody, at least forty-eight hours prior to theproposed executive session. Notificationmay be waived upon agreement of theparties. A governmental body shall hold anopen meeting if the individual involvedrequests that the meeting be open. If anexecutive session is held, such individualshall have the following rights:(a) to be present at such executive sessionduring discussions or considerations whichinvolve that individual.(b) to have counsel or a representative of hisown choosing present and attending for thepurpose of advising said individual and notfor the purpose of active participation insaid executive session.(c) to speak in his own behalf.(2) To consider the discipline or dismissalof, or to hear complaints or charges broughtagainst, a public officer, employee, staffmember, or individual, provided that theindividual involved in such executivesession pursuant to this clause has beennotified in writing by the governmentalbody at least forty-eight hours prior to theExecutive sessions may be held only for thefollowing purposes:(1) To discuss the reputation, character,physical condition or mental health ratherthan the professional competence of anindividual, provided that the individual tobe discussed in such executive session hasbeen notified in writing by thegovernmental body, at least forty-eighthours prior to the proposed executivesession. Notification may be waived uponagreement of the parties. A governmentalbody shall hold an open meeting if theindividual involved requests that themeeting be open. If an executive session isheld, such individual shall have thefollowing rights:(a) to be present at such executive sessionduring discussions or considerations whichinvolve that individual.(b) to have counsel or a representative of hisown choosing present and attending for thepurpose of advising said individual and notfor the purpose of active participation insaid executive session.(c) to speak in his own behalf.(2) To consider the discipline or dismissalof, or to hear complaints or charges broughtagainst, a public officer, employee, staffmember, or individual, provided that theindividual involved in such executivesession has been notified in writing by thegovernmental body at least forty-eight hoursprior to the proposed executive session.
  12. 12. 12proposed executive session. Notificationmay be waived upon agreement of theparties. A governmental body shall hold anopen meeting if the individual involvedrequests that the meeting be open. If anexecutive session is held, such individualshall have the following rights:(a) to be present at such executive sessionduring discussions or considerations whichinvolve that individual.(b) to have counsel or a representative of hisown choosing present and attending for thepurpose of advising said individual and notfor the purpose of active participation.(c) to speak in his own behalf.Notification may be waived upon agreementof the parties. A governmental body shallhold an open meeting if the individualinvolved requests that the meeting be open.If an executive session is held, suchindividual shall have the following rights:(a) to be present at such executive sessionduring discussions or considerations whichinvolve that individual.(b) to have counsel or a representative of hisown choosing present and attending for thepurpose of advising said individual and notfor the purpose of active participation insaid executive session.(c) to speak in his own behalf.2. To conduct strategy sessions inpreparation for negotiations with nonunionpersonnel or to conduct collectivebargaining sessions or contract negotiationswith nonunion personnel;= (3) [To discuss strategy with respect tocollective bargaining or litigation if an openmeeting may have a detrimental effect onthe bargaining or litigating position of thegovernmental body], to conduct strategysessions in preparation for negotiationswith nonunion personnel, to conductcollective bargaining sessions or contractnegotiations with nonunion personnel.3. To discuss strategy with respect tocollective bargaining or litigation if an openmeeting may have a detrimental effect onthe bargaining or litigating position of thepublic body and the chair so declares;= (3) To discuss strategy with respect tocollective bargaining or litigation if anopen meeting may have a detrimentaleffect on the bargaining or litigatingposition of the governmental body, [toconduct strategy sessions in preparation fornegotiations with nonunion personnel, toconduct collective bargaining sessions orcontract negotiations with nonunionpersonnel].(3) To discuss strategy with respect tocollective bargaining or litigation if an openmeeting may have a detrimental effect onthe bargaining or litigating position of thegovernmental body, and to conductcollective bargaining sessions.4. To discuss the deployment of securitypersonnel or devices, or strategies with= (4) To discuss the deployment of securitypersonnel or devices.(4) To discuss the deployment of securitypersonnel or devices.
  13. 13. 13respect thereto;5. To investigate charges of criminalmisconduct or to consider the filing ofcriminal complaints;= (5) To investigate charges of criminalmisconduct or to discuss the filing ofcriminal complaints.(5) To investigate charges of criminalmisconduct or to discuss the filing ofcriminal complaints.6. To consider the purchase, exchange,lease or value of real property if the chairdeclares that an open meeting may have adetrimental effect on the negotiatingposition of the public body;= (6) To consider the purchase, exchange,lease or value of real property, if suchdiscussions may have a detrimental effecton the negotiating position of thegovernmental body and a person, firm orcorporation.(6) To consider the purchase, exchange,lease or value of real property, if suchdiscussions may have a detrimental effecton the negotiating position of thegovernmental body and a person, firm orcorporation.7. To comply with, or act under theauthority of, any general or special law orfederal grant-in-aid requirements;= (7) To comply with the provisions of anygeneral or special law or federal grant-in-aid requirements.(7) To comply with the provisions of anygeneral or special law or federal grant-in-aid requirements.8. To consider or interview applicants foremployment or appointment by apreliminary screening committee if the chairdeclares that an open meeting will have adetrimental effect in obtaining qualifiedapplicants; provided, however, that thisclause shall not apply to any meeting,including meetings of a preliminaryscreening committee, to consider andinterview applicants who have passed a priorpreliminary screening;= (8) To consider and interview applicantsfor employment by a preliminary screeningcommittee or a subcommittee appointed bya governmental body if an open meetingwill have a detrimental effect in obtainingqualified applicants; provided, however,that this clause shall not apply to anymeeting, including meetings of apreliminary screening committee or asubcommittee appointed by a governmentalbody, to consider and interview applicantswho have passed a prior preliminaryscreening.9. To meet or confer with a mediator, asdefined in section 23C of chapter 233, withrespect to any litigation or decision on anypublic business within its jurisdictioninvolving another party, group or entity,provided that:(i) any decision to participate in mediationshall be made in an open session and theparties, issues involved and purpose of themediation shall be disclosed; and= (9) To meet or confer with a mediator, asdefined in section twenty-three C of chaptertwo hundred and thirty-three, with respectto any litigation or decision on any publicbusiness within its jurisdiction involvinganother party, group or body, provided that:(a) any decision to participate in mediationshall be made in open meeting session andthe parties, issues involved and purpose ofthe mediation shall be disclosed; and (b) no
  14. 14. 14(ii) no action shall be taken by any publicbody with respect to those issues which arethe subject of the mediation withoutdeliberation and approval for such action atan open session; oraction shall be taken by any governmentalbody with respect to those issues which arethe subject of the mediation withoutdeliberation and approval for such action atan open meeting after such notice as may berequired in this section.10. to discuss trade secrets or confidential,competitively-sensitive or other proprietaryinformation provided in the course ofactivities conducted by a governmental bodyas an energy supplier under a license grantedby the department of public utilities pursuantto section 1F of chapter 164, in the course ofactivities conducted as a municipalaggregator under section 134 of said chapter164 or in the course of activities conductedby a cooperative consisting of governmentalentities organized pursuant to section 136 ofsaid chapter 164, when such governmentalbody, municipal aggregator or cooperativedetermines that such disclosure willadversely affect its ability to conductbusiness in relation to other entities making,selling or distributing electric power andenergy.= (10) To discuss trade secrets or confidential,competitively-sensitive or other proprietaryinformation provided in the course ofactivities conducted by a governmentalbody as an energy supplier under a licensegranted by the department of public utilitiespursuant to section 1F of chapter 164, in thecourse of activities conducted as amunicipal aggregator under section 134 ofsaid chapter 164 or in the course ofactivities conducted by a cooperativeconsisting of governmental entitiesorganized pursuant to section 136 of saidchapter 164, when such governmental body,municipal aggregator or cooperativedetermines that such disclosure willadversely affect its ability to conductbusiness in relation to other entities making,selling or distributing electric power andenergy.(b) A public body may meet in closedsession for 1 or more of the purposesenumerated in subsection (a) provided that:1. the body has first convened in an opensession pursuant to section 21;2. a majority of members of the body havevoted to go into executive session and thevote of each member is recorded by roll calland entered into the minutes;3. before the executive session, the chairshall state the purpose for the executiveN No executive session shall be held until thegovernmental body has first convened in anopen session for which notice has beengiven, a majority of the members havevoted to go into executive session and thevote of each member is recorded on a rollcall vote and entered into the minutes, thepresiding officer has cited the purpose foran executive session, and the presidingofficer has stated before the executivesession if the governmental body willNo executive session shall be held until thegovernmental body has first convened in anopen session for which notice has beengiven, a majority of the members of thegovernmental body have voted to go intoexecutive session and the vote of eachmember is recorded on a roll call vote andentered into the minutes, the presidingofficer has cited the purpose for anexecutive session, and the presiding officerhas stated before the executive session if the
  15. 15. 15session, stating all subjects that may berevealed without compromising the purposefor which the executive session was called;4. the chair shall publicly announce whetherthe open session will reconvene at theconclusion of the executive session; and5. accurate records of the executive sessionshall be maintained pursuant to section 23.reconvene after the executive session.The rights of an individual set forth in thissection relative to his appearance before ameeting in an executive or open session, arein addition to the rights that an individualmay have from any other source, including,but not limited to, rights under any laws orcollective bargaining agreements, and theexercise or nonexercise of the individualrights under this section shall not beconstrued as a waiver of any rights of theindividual.governmental body will reconvene after theexecutive session.The rights of an individual set forth in thissection relative to his appearance before ameeting in an executive or open session, arein addition to the rights that an individualmay have from any other source, including,but not limited to rights under any laws orcollective bargaining agreements, and theexercise or nonexercise of the individualrights under this section shall not beconstrued as a waiver of any rights of theindividual.SECTION 22(a) A public body shall create and maintainaccurate minutes of all meetings, includingexecutive sessions, setting forth the date,time and place, the members present orabsent, a summary of the discussions oneach subject, a list of documents and otherexhibits used at the meeting, the decisionsmade and the actions taken at each meeting,including the record of all votes.N A governmental body shall maintainaccurate records of its meetings, settingforth the date, time, place, members presentor absent and action taken at each meeting,including executive sessions.A governmental body shall maintainaccurate records of its meetings, settingforth the date, time, place, members presentor absent and action taken at each meeting,including executive sessions.(b) No vote taken at an open session shallbe by secret ballot. Any vote taken at anexecutive session shall be recorded by rollcall and entered into the minutes.= All votes taken in executive sessions shallbe recorded roll call votes and shall becomea part of the record of said executivesessions. No votes taken in open sessionshall be by secret ballot.All votes taken in executive sessions shallbe recorded roll call votes and shall becomea part of the record of said executivesessions. No votes taken in open sessionshall be by secret ballot.(c) Minutes of all open sessions shall becreated and approved in a timely manner.The minutes of an open session, if they existand whether approved or in draft form, shallbe made available upon request by anyperson within 10 days.N(d) Documents and other exhibits, such as N
  16. 16. 16photographs, recordings or maps, used bythe body at an open or executive sessionshall, along with the minutes, be part of theofficial record of the session.(e) The minutes of any open session, thenotes, recordings or other materials used inthe preparation of such minutes and alldocuments and exhibits used at the session,shall be public records in their entirety andnot exempt from disclosure pursuant to anyof the exemptions under clause Twenty-sixth of section 7 of chapter 4.Notwithstanding this paragraph, thefollowing materials shall be exempt fromdisclosure to the public as personnelinformation: (1) materials used in aperformance evaluation of an individualbearing on his professional competence,provided they were not created by themembers of the body for the purposes of theevaluation; and (2) materials used indeliberations about employment orappointment of individuals, includingapplications and supporting materials;provided, however, that any resumesubmitted by an applicant shall not beexempt.N The records of each meeting shall become apublic record and be available to the public;provided, however, that the records of anyexecutive session may remain secret as longas publication may defeat the lawfulpurposes of the executive session, but nolonger.The records of each meeting shall become apublic record and be available to the public;provided, however, that the records of anyexecutive session may remain secret as longas publication may defeat the lawfulpurposes of the executive session, but nolonger.(f) The minutes of any executive session,the notes, recordings or other materials usedin the preparation of such minutes and alldocuments and exhibits used at the session,may be withheld from disclosure to thepublic in their entirety under subclause (a)of clause Twenty-sixth of section 7 ofchapter 4, as long as publication may defeatthe lawful purposes of the executive session,but no longer; provided, however, that the>
  17. 17. 17executive session was held in compliancewith section 21.When the purpose for which a validexecutive session was held has been served,the minutes, preparatory materials anddocuments and exhibits of the session shallbe disclosed unless the attorney-clientprivilege or 1 or more of the exemptionsunder said clause Twenty-sixth of saidsection 7 of said chapter 4 apply to withholdthese records, or any portion thereof, fromdisclosure.For purposes of this subsection, if anexecutive session is held pursuant to clause(2) or (3) of subsections (a) of section 21,then the minutes, preparatory materials anddocuments and exhibits used at the sessionmay be withheld from disclosure to thepublic in their entirety, unless and until suchtime as a litigating, negotiating orbargaining position is no longer jeopardizedby such disclosure, at which time they shallbe disclosed unless the attorney-clientprivilege or 1 or more of the exemptionsunder said clause Twenty-sixth of saidsection 7 of said chapter 4 apply to withholdthese records, or any portion thereof, fromdisclosure.(g)(1) The public body, or its chair ordesignee, shall, at reasonable intervals,review the minutes of executive sessions todetermine if the provisions of this subsectionwarrant continued non-disclosure. Suchdetermination shall be announced at thebody’s next meeting and suchannouncement shall be included in theminutes of that meeting.>
  18. 18. 18(2) Upon request by any person to inspector copy the minutes of an executive sessionor any portion thereof, the body shallrespond to the request within 10 daysfollowing receipt and shall release any suchminutes not covered by an exemption undersubsection (f); provided, however, that if thebody has not performed a review pursuant toparagraph (1), the public body shall performthe review and release the non-exemptminutes, or any portion thereof, not laterthan the body’s next meeting or 30 days,whichever first occurs. A public body shallnot assess a fee for the time spent in itsreview.SECTION 23(a) Subject to appropriation, the attorneygeneral shall interpret and enforce the openmeeting law.N The district attorney of the county in whichthe violation occurred shall enforce theprovisions of this section.The attorney general shall enforce theprovisions of this section.(b) At least 30 days prior to the filing of acomplaint with the attorney general, thecomplainant shall file a written complaintwith the public body, setting forth thecircumstances which constitute the allegedviolation and giving the body an opportunityto remedy the alleged violation; provided,however, that such complaint shall be filedwithin 30 days of the date of the allegedviolation. The public body shall, within 14business days of receipt of a complaint, senda copy of the complaint to the attorneygeneral and notify the attorney general ofany remedial action taken. Any remedialaction taken by the public body in responseto a complaint under this subsection shallnot be admissible as evidence against thepublic body that a violation occurred in any>
  19. 19. 19later administrative or judicial proceedingrelating to such alleged violation. Theattorney general may authorize an extensionof time to the public body for the purpose oftaking remedial action upon the writtenrequest of the public body and a showing ofgood cause to grant the extension.(c) Upon the receipt of a complaint by anyperson, the attorney general shall determine,in a timely manner, whether there has been aviolation of the open meeting law. Theattorney general may, and before imposingany civil penalty on a public body shall,hold a hearing on any such complaint.Following a determination that a violationhas occurred, the attorney general shalldetermine whether the public body, 1 ormore of the members, or both, areresponsible and whether the violation wasintentional or unintentional. Upon thefinding of a violation, the attorney generalmay issue an order to:(1) compel immediate and futurecompliance with the open meeting law;(2) compel attendance at a training sessionauthorized by the attorney general;(3) nullify in whole or in part any actiontaken at the meeting;(4) impose a civil penalty upon the publicbody of not more than $1,000 for eachintentional violation;(5) reinstate an employee without loss ofcompensation, seniority, tenure or otherbenefits;(6) compel that minutes, records or othermaterials be made public; or(7) prescribe other appropriate action.>
  20. 20. 20(d) A public body or any member of a bodyaggrieved by any order issued pursuant tothis section may, notwithstanding anygeneral or special law to the contrary, obtainjudicial review of the order only through anaction in superior court seeking relief in thenature of certiorari; provided, however, thatnotwithstanding section 4 of chapter 249,any such action shall be commenced insuperior court within 21 days of receipt ofthe order. Any order issued under thissection shall be stayed pending judicialreview; provided, however, that if the ordernullifies an action of the public body, thebody shall not implement such actionpending judicial review.N(e) If any public body or member thereofshall fail to comply with the requirementsset forth in any order issued by the attorneygeneral, or shall fail to pay any civil penaltyimposed within 21 days of the date ofissuance of such order or within 30 daysfollowing the decision of the superior courtif judicial review of such order has beentimely sought, the attorney general may filean action to compel compliance. Suchaction shall be filed in Suffolk superior courtwith respect to state public bodies and, withrespect to all other public bodies, in thesuperior court in any county in which thepublic body acts or meets. If such body ormember has not timely sought judicialreview of the order, such order shall not beopen to review in an action to compelcompliance.>(f) As an alternative to the procedure insubsection (b), the attorney general or 3 or> Upon proof of failure by any governmentalbody or by any member or officer thereof toUpon proof of failure by any governmentalbody or by any member or officer thereof to
  21. 21. 21more registered voters may initiate a civilaction to enforce the open meeting law.Any action under this subsection shall befiled in Suffolk superior court with respectto state public bodies and, with respect to allother public bodies, in the superior court inany county in which the public body acts ormeets.In any action filed pursuant to thissubsection, in addition to all other remediesavailable to the superior court, in law or inequity, the court shall have all of theremedies set forth in subsection (b).In any action filed under this subsection, theorder of notice on the complaint shall bereturnable not later than 10 days after thefiling and the complaint shall be heard anddetermined on the return day or on such dayas the court shall fix, having regard to thespeediest possible determination of thecause consistent with the rights of theparties; provided, however, that orders maybe issued at any time on or after the filing ofthe complaint without notice when suchorder is necessary to fulfill the purposes ofthe open meeting law. In the hearing of anyaction under this subsection, the burdenshall be on the respondent to show by apreponderance of the evidence that theaction complained of in such complaint wasin accordance with and authorized by theopen meeting law; provided, however, thatno civil penalty may be imposed on anindividual absent proof that the actioncomplained of violated the open meetinglaw.carry out any of the provisions for publicnotice or meetings, for holding openmeetings, or for maintaining public recordsthereof, any justice of the supreme judicialcourt or the superior court sitting within andfor the county in which such governmentalbody acts shall issue an appropriate orderrequiring such governmental body ormember or officer thereof to carry out suchprovisions at future meetings. Such ordermay be sought by complaint of three ormore registered voters, by the attorneygeneral, or by the district attorney of thecounty in which the city or town is located.The order of notice on the complaint shallbe returnable no later than ten days after thefiling thereof and the complaint shall beheard and determined on the return day oron such day thereafter as the court shall fix,having regard to the speediest possibledetermination of the cause consistent withthe rights of the parties; provided, however,that orders with respect to any of thematters referred to in this section may beissued at any time on or after the filing ofthe complaint without notice when suchorder is necessary to fulfill the purposes ofthis section. In the hearing of suchcomplaints the burden shall be on therespondent to show by a preponderance ofthe evidence that the action complained ofin such complaint was in accordance withand authorized by section eleven A 1/2 ofchapter thirty A, by section nine G ofchapter thirty-four or by this section. Allprocesses may be issued from the clerk’soffice in the county in which the action iscarry out any of the provisions of thissection, any justice of the supreme judicialcourt or any justice of the superior courtsitting in the county in which thegovernmental body customarily meets or inthe absence of such sitting of court then anyjustice of the superior court sitting inSuffolk county shall issue an appropriateorder requiring such governmental body ormember or officer thereof to carry out suchprovision at future meetings. Any suchorder may be sought by complaint of threeor more registered voters, by the attorneygeneral, or by the district attorney for thedistrict in which the governmental body islocated. The order of notice on thecomplaint shall be heard no later than tendays after the filing thereof or on such daythereafter as the court shall fix, havingregard to the speediest possibledetermination of the cause consistent withthe rights of the parties; provided, however,that orders with respect to any of thematters referred to in this section may beissued at any time on or after the filing ofthe complaint without notice when suchorder is necessary to fulfill the purposes ofthis section. In the hearing of suchcomplaint the burden shall be on therespondent to show by a preponderance ofthe evidence that the actions complained ofin such complaint were in accordance withand authorized by this section, by sectionnine G of chapter thirty-four or by sectiontwenty-three B of chapter thirty-nine. Allprocesses may be issued from the clerksoffice in the county in which the action is
  22. 22. 22brought and, except as aforesaid, shall bereturnable as the court orders.Such order may invalidate any action takenat any meeting at which any provision ofthis section has been violated, provided thatsuch complaint is filed within twenty-onedays of the date when such action is madepublic.Any such order may also, when appropriate,require the records of any such meeting tobe made public, unless it shall have beendetermined by such justice that themaintenance of secrecy with respect to suchrecords is authorized. The remedy createdhereby is not exclusive, but shall be inaddition to every other available remedy.Such order may also include reinstatementwithout loss of compensation, seniority,tenure or other benefits for any employeedischarged at a meeting or hearing held inviolation of the provisions of this section.Such order may also include a civil fineagainst the governmental body in an amountno greater than one thousand dollars foreach meeting held in violation of thissection.brought and, except as aforesaid, shall bereturnable as the court orders.Such order may invalidate any action takenat any meeting at which any provision ofthis section has been violated, provided thatsuch complaint is filed within twenty-onedays of the date when such action is madepublic.Any such order may also, when appropriate,require the records of any such meeting tobe made public, unless it shall have beendetermined by such justice that themaintenance of secrecy with respect to suchrecords is authorized. The remedy createdhereby is not exclusive, but shall be inaddition to every other available remedy.(g) It shall be a defense to the imposition ofa penalty that the public body, after fulldisclosure, acted in good faith compliancewith the advice of the public body’s legalcounsel.>(h) Payment of civil penalties under this >
  23. 23. 23section paid to or received by the attorneygeneral shall be paid into the general fund ofthe commonwealth.SECTION 24(a) Whenever the attorney general hasreasonable cause to believe that a person,including any public body and any otherstate, regional, county, municipal or othergovernmental official or entity, has violatedthe open meeting law, the attorney generalmay conduct an investigation to ascertainwhether in fact such person has violated theopen meeting law. Upon notification of aninvestigation, any person, public body orany other state, regional, county, municipalor other governmental official or entity whois the subject of an investigation, shall makeall information necessary to conduct suchinvestigation available to the attorneygeneral. In the event that the person, publicbody or any other state, regional, county,municipal or other governmental official orentity being investigated does notvoluntarily provide relevant information tothe attorney general within 30 days ofreceiving notice of the investigation, theattorney general may: (1) take testimonyunder oath concerning such alleged violationof the open meeting law; (2) examine orcause to be examined any documentarymaterial of whatever nature relevant to suchalleged violation of the open meeting law;and (3) require attendance during suchexamination of documentary material of anyperson having knowledge of thedocumentary material and take testimonyunder oath or acknowledgment in respect of>
  24. 24. 24any such documentary material. Suchtestimony and examination shall take placein the county where such person resides orhas a place of business or, if the partiesconsent or such person is a nonresident orhas no place of business within thecommonwealth, in Suffolk county.(b) Notice of the time, place and cause ofsuch taking of testimony, examination orattendance shall be given by the attorneygeneral at least 10 days prior to the date ofsuch taking of testimony or examination.>(c) Service of any such notice may be madeby: (1) delivering a duly-executed copy tothe person to be served or to a partner or toany officer or agent authorized byappointment or by law to receive service ofprocess on behalf of such person; (2)delivering a duly-executed copy to theprincipal place of business in thecommonwealth of the person to be served;or (3) mailing by registered or certified maila duly-executed copy addressed to theperson to be served at the principal place ofbusiness in the commonwealth or, if saidperson has no place of business in thecommonwealth, to his principal office orplace of business.>(d) Each such notice shall: (1) state the timeand place for the taking of testimony or theexamination and the name and address ofeach person to be examined, if known and, ifthe name is not known, a general descriptionsufficient to identify him or the particularclass or group to which he belongs; (2) statethe statute and section thereof, the allegedviolation of which is under investigation and>
  25. 25. 25the general subject matter of theinvestigation; (3) describe the class orclasses of documentary material to beproduced thereunder with reasonablespecificity, so as fairly to indicate thematerial demanded; (4) prescribe a returndate within which the documentary materialis to be produced; and (5) identify themembers of the attorney general’s staff towhom such documentary material is to bemade available for inspection and copying.(e) No such notice shall contain anyrequirement which would be unreasonableor improper if contained in a subpoenaduces tecum issued by a court of thecommonwealth or require the disclosure ofany documentary material which would beprivileged, or which for any other reasonwould not be required by a subpoena ducestecum issued by a court of thecommonwealth.>(f) Any documentary material or otherinformation produced by any personpursuant to this section shall not, unlessotherwise ordered by a court of thecommonwealth for good cause shown, bedisclosed to any person other than theauthorized agent or representative of theattorney general, unless with the consent ofthe person producing the same; provided,however, that such material or informationmay be disclosed by the attorney general incourt pleadings or other papers filed incourt.>(g) At any time prior to the date specified inthe notice, or within 21 days after the noticehas been served, whichever period is shorter,>
  26. 26. 26the court may, upon motion for good causeshown, extend such reporting date or modifyor set aside such demand or grant aprotective order in accordance with thestandards set forth in Rule 26(c) of theMassachusetts Rules of Civil Procedure. Themotion may be filed in the superior court ofthe county in which the person servedresides or has his usual place of business orin Suffolk county. This section shall not beapplicable to any criminal proceeding norshall information obtained under theauthority of this section be admissible inevidence in any criminal prosecution forsubstantially identical transactions.Section 25(a) The attorney general shall have theauthority to promulgate rules andregulations to carry out enforcement of theopen meeting law.(b) The attorney general shall have theauthority to interpret the open meeting lawand to issue written letter rulings or advisoryopinions according to rules establishedunder this section.>SECTION 19. Sections 9F and 9Gof chapter 34 of the General Lawsare hereby repealed.SECTION 20. Sections 23A to23C, inclusive, of chapter 39 of theGeneral Laws are hereby repealed.>rev 6/14/10
  27. 27. EnforcementWithin 30 days of the alleged violation, the complainant must first file complaint with thepublic body.Public body has 14 days to send copy to AG and notify of any remedial action taken.After 30 days from the filing of the complaint with the public body the complainant mayfile complaint with the AG.Upon receipt of complaint, AG shall determine if violation “in timely manner.”AG may conduct investigation to determine if a violation has occurred.Upon notification, public body shall provide all info requested by AG within 30 daysAG may conduct hearing.AG may take testimony under oath, examine documentary material, and may requireattendance of person(s) with knowledge of materials with 10 day notice according torules same as/similar to subpoena under Mass.R.Civ.P.Materials so obtained not public records “shall not be disclosed to any person”Following determination, AG shall determine if public body, 1 or more of members, orboth, are responsible and whether intentional or unintentional.Upon finding a violation, AG may issue an order to (one or more):- Compel immediate and future compliance with the open meeting law- Compel attendance at a training session authorized by the attorney general- Nullify in whole or in part any action taken at the meeting- Impose a civil penalty upon the public body of not more than $1000 for each intentionalviolation (paid to the General Fund)- Reinstate an employee without loss of compensation, seniority, tenure, or other benefits- Compel that minutes, records or other materials be made public- Prescribe other appropriate actionIf aggrieved by order, public body or member may obtain judicial review only bycertiorari in superior court within 21 days of receiving order.If public body or member fails within 21 days to comply with requirements of AG orderor pay civil penalty, or within 30 days of court decision if judicial review timely sought,then AG can commence action to compel.Alternative to complaint process, AG or 3 (or more) registered voters may initiate civilaction in superior court to compel compliance.
  28. 28. Intersection with Public Records LawMinutes defined furtherDocuments and exhibits used at meetings included as part of the “official record”Public records status of open meeting minutes, documents, and other definedmaterials fully explained (“shall be public records in their entirety and not exemptfrom disclosure”)Public records status of certain materials specifically used in performanceevaluations or deliberations concerning employment or appointment exempt fromdisclosure under Public Records Law (PRL)Time frames for approval of open meeting minutes and disclosure in response torequestPublic records status and timing of executive session minutes, documents, andother defined materials fully explainedPublic records status of certain materials specifically used in executive sessionsentered into under Reasons 2 or 3 = exempt from disclosure if one or more ofexemptions under Public Records Law (PRL) and/or attorney/client privilegecontinues to keep from disclosureDetailed approval process and time frames for approval of executive sessionminutes and disclosure in response to requestNew OML Old OMLSome teeth No teethOne statute for all levels of government Three separate statutes: state, county, localInterpretation and enforcement consolidated Interpretation and enforcement distributed amongthe District AttorneysConsistency in interpretation and enforcement Divergent viewpoints in interpretation andenforcementAdministrative enforcement options available Judicial enforcement onlyNotice provisions made more contemporary Notice requirements weak, ineffectiveTraining and education a core ingredient Training minimum: delivery of copy of OMLClearer interface with the Public Records Law OML and PRL non-congruentRemedies and appellate review more robust Remedies inadequateCompatible with contemporary technologies Written before modern communication options1-22-10
  29. 29. Interim State Public Body Notice Posting RequirementsUnder the Open Meeting Law set to take effect July 1, 2010, state public bodies arerequired, except in emergencies, to a post meeting notices at least 48 hours in advance ofa meeting, not including Saturdays, Sundays or legal holidays. The notice must includethe date, time, and location of the meeting, as well as a listing of topics that the chairreasonably anticipates will be discussed. The new law requires that for meetings of astate public body, notice shall be posted on a website in accordance with proceduresestablished for this purpose. The new law can be found at G. L. c. 30A § 18-25.Every state public body will be responsible for posting meeting notices on a website andinforming the Division of Open Government at the Attorney General’s Office of thelocation of the website on which the state public body will be posting its notices. TheAttorney General’s Office is working with the state Information Technology Division ofthe Executive Office of Administration and Finance to develop streamlined proceduresfor state public bodies to meet these new requirements. In the interim, state public bodiesmust continue to provide a copy of meeting notices to the Executive Office ofAdministration and Finance. State public bodies need not send a copy of meeting noticesto the Attorney General or file with the Secretary of State.For state public bodies subject to the Open Meeting Law, please send the name of thepublic body, the name and contact information for the individual responsible for postingmeeting notices, and the website location on which the public body will be posting itsmeeting notices to openmeeting@state.ma.us.Should the implementation of the new Open Meeting Law be delayed beyond July 1,2010 as is now being considered by the Legislature, then state public bodies mustcontinue to follow the procedures under the old law, G. L. c. 30A § 11A½, until the newimplementation date. Under the prior state Open Meeting Law, G. L. c. 30A § 11A½, anotice of every meeting of a governmental body was to be filed with the Secretary ofState, and a copy posted in office of the Executive Office for Administration and Financeat least 48 hours, including Saturdays but not Sundays and legal holidays, prior to thetime of such meeting.

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