Testing the water

Open Meetings Overview

The open meetings law was enacted to ensure a process by which governmental decisions are made, and those decisions are transparent and easily accessible to the public.

Important Terms

Governmental Body - includes any of the following entities:

  • County board of supervisors, city councils, township trustees, school boards, drainage district trustees, and other similar local governments
  • Boards or commissions created by state statute, executive order, or a political subdivision such as the county health board, zoning commission, or state environmental protection commission
  • Committees or other bodies formally and directly created by a governing body covered by the open meetings law
  • Advisory boards, advisory commissions, or task forces created by the governor or general assembly to make public policy recommendations 

Meeting - a gathering, in person or electronic, formal or informal, of a majority of a governmental body’s members where there is deliberation or action upon any matter within the scope of the body’s policy-making duties. Meetings do not include gatherings of body members for purely ministerial or social purposes where there is no policy discussion or intent to avoid the open meetings laws.

All governmental bodies must follow open meeting laws, except meetings for strategy discussion relating to...