Senate Bill 67, Vermont 2011
|Status:||Final Status: (Referred to Government Operations Committee)|
|Sponsor:||Senator Jeanette White|
|State law:||Vermont Open Meetings Law|
|Bill text:|| As introduced|
As passed by the Senate
|Status key:|| |
Senate Bill 67 was introduced to the Senate by Senator Jeanette White which would modernize open meetings laws to allow electronic meetings, provide additional reasons for executive sessions, and allow for persons with disabilities to have equal access to meetings. The final section of the bill provides punishment for violators and requires courts to levy a fee for reasonable attorney and court costs against the violating agency. 
Below are the amendments that effect Open Meetings law:
- Would change the definition of a meeting to disclude electronic messages and messages to be discluded from being defined as meetings, so long as they are available for search under public records law.
- Would allow for persons with disabilities to request accommodations for a meeting that if given in a timely manner would be provided reasonable accommodation.
- Would allow meetings to take place electronically provided 24 hours notice is properly provided, including a location that one could participate in the meeting remotely, that all members could be heard simultaneously, and that satisfies all other requirements set forth by open meetings law.
- Would require that the agenda for a special or regular meeting be posted on the public body's website and near the municipal office and at least 2 other locations in the municipality.
- Would provide consequences for public bodies that violate open meetings laws, including a clause that requires the courts to assess a fee against violators.
- Would alter the reasons an agency can go into executive session to include cases where disclosure could jeopardize public safety.
- Would require that all public hearings and meetings scheduled by executive branch agencies be available to the public.
- Would allow for electronic meetings so long as it was not done in a spirit to attempt to circumvent open meetings law.
Current bill status
This bill is currently under review by the Government Operations Committee.
Support for the bill
Criticism of the bill
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