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

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 are not gatherings of body members for ministerial or social purposes where there is no policy discussion or intent to avoid the open meetings laws.

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

All governmental bodies must follow open meeting laws, except...