Tom Humphrey files this report on the recommendations by the committee studying changes to the state's open meetings act.
After all the study and debate, it appears all they can agree on is to change the law from not allowing deliberation among two or more officials to not allowing three (or a majority, whichever is less) or more to deliberate. By not allowing two or more, the current law effectively allows no deliberation. The new law, if as described, would now allow two to deliberate. It is not clear how this is a change for the better.
It should also be noted that the article contains a factual error. The article states "Current law says that a meeting of two or more officials can be a violation." Actually, the law says that deliberation between two or more officials is a violation, not a meeting, and even provides for exceptions such as chance meetings or visits to a project site.
According to the article, there were also arguments to allow deliberation by phone or e-mail, as these would not be a "meeting."
It's pretty sad that elected officials have so much trouble understanding that they can't deliberate in secret and that the public's business must be conducted in public.
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