More D.C. Open Meetings Act Enforcement: Education Funding “Working Group” Told to Meet in Public

In a July 21, 2016, opinion, the D.C. Office of Open Government directed the District's Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) to end plans for months of private meetings of a school funding “working group” of officials and the public called for by law.


Michigan Supreme Court won’t define ‘public official’ in Open Meetings Act

The Michigan Supreme Court decided not to define a public official under Michigan's Open Meetings Act, with two justices dissenting, according to a court order.

In a lawsuit ongoing for more than two years that alleged violations of Michigan's Open Meetings Act by Oakley village clerk Cheryl Bolf, the Michigan Supreme Court heard arguments April 6 and denied the application, an April 25 order states, "because we are not persuaded that the question presented should be reviewed by this Court."


Supreme Court hearing set in Michigan ‘public official’ lawsuit

A case that began in the wood-paneled meeting room in the village of Oakley will be heard in the chambers of Michigan's highest court, where justices will consider defining the term "public official" in how it applies to the state's Open Meetings Act.

The proceedings began three years ago in April 2013, when Hemlock attorney Philip L. Ellison sued Oakley village Clerk Cheryl Bolf on behalf of Oakley resident Shannon Bitterman, alleging violations from a closed meeting in November 2012.


Secrecy in Wyoming’s budget shortfall proposal

A legislative proposal could ensure that the work of Wyoming’s influential revenue-estimating group can continue in secret and behind closed doors.

A bill passed by the Senate last week would exempt the Consensus Revenue Estimating Group – other than its final public reports – from the state’s public records and open meetings act. The group, more commonly known as CREG, issues annual and periodic reports projecting how much mineral taxes and other revenues the state can expect to take in during the coming years.


Maryland bills seek to boost government transparency, accountability

Government transparency was the reoccurring theme this week at a Maryland House Health and Government Operations Committee hearing, as lawmakers pushed for the passage of multiple bills that would beef up requirements of the Open Meetings Act.

As it now stands, the Open Meetings Act requires local- and state-level public bodies to hold open sessions in a location that is accessible to attendees, provide the public adequate notice of those sessions, and allow them to view the respective meeting minutes.


ACLU of Rhode Island report finds numerous violations of Open Meetings Act

Public meeting agendas in Rhode Island are “often vague, lacking critical information, and at times entirely unhelpful” to residents attempting to participate in their government, a new report by the American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island has found.

In reviewing just one week of public meeting agendas, the ACLU of RI discovered numerous violations of a critical portion of the state’s Open Meetings Act (OMA), and recommended that the law be strengthened in order to adequately protect the public’s right to know.


Tennessee Coalition for Open Governement: What you can do when you think the Open Meetings Act was violated

Because TCOG gets so many questions and complaints from citizens who wonder what they can do when their elected officials in a local government violate the state’s Open Meetings Act, we’ve set up new Open Meetings Complaint page on TCOG’s website under the “Resources” tab to explain some options.


Watchdog groups challenge State Investment Council settlements

An open-government group and the state press association are asking a court to overturn legal agreements that have repaid taxpayers millions of dollars from a long-running scandal because the State Investment Council failed to comply with the Open Meetings Act.

An attorney for the New Mexico Press Association and the Foundation for Open Government argues that the settlements with investment advisers, consultants and money managers were negotiated and approved by a portion of the full State Investment Council, called the Litigation Committee.


Bill restores open government protections

Alabamians who care about transparency in government should be pleased to see – and to support – legislation that will repair the damage done to the public good by three deeply disturbing decisions of the Alabama Supreme Court. A prefiled bill by Sen. Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, responsibly addresses the issues in those open government decisions.