Sunshine Laws

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Sunshine Laws

Statutes that mandate that meetings of governmental agencies and departments be open to the public at large.

Through sunshine laws, administrative agencies are required to do their work in public, and as a result, the process is sometimes called "government in the sunshine." A law that requires open meetings ordinarily specifies the only instances when a meeting can be closed to the public and mandates that certain procedures be followed before a particular meeting is closed. The Freedom of Information Act (5 U.S.C.A. § 552) requires agencies to share information they have obtained with the public. Exceptions are permitted, in general, in the interest of national security or to safeguard the privacy of businesses.

Cross-references

Administrative Agency; Administrative Law and Procedure.

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References in periodicals archive ?
He said he considers the biggest win of the litigation to be rulings from judges that drug task forces were governmental bodies subject to the Sunshine Law previously, several had asserted they were not.
Louis Public Radio and the Radio Television Digital News Association all filed complaints with the office of Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, asserting that the fees violated the state Sunshine Law. Although Missouri law limits copying charges to the average hourly pay of clerical staff, public entities can charge their ''actual cost'' for research time and any extraordinary computer programming that's necessary.
Sunshine Law, and the Public Record in Florida, 39 STETSON L.
In its spring issue, the journal covers laws that apply to the Sunshine laws. The regulations for Missouri and Illinois are reprinted below.
"The Florida Sunshine Law requires that cities permanently keep all e-mails sent and received by public employees, creating an enormous number of records."
The new law adds an exemption to the state's Sunshine Law, allowing closure of meetings and records that contain specific information on terrorism-readiness issues.
When it comes to appropriate action in regard to preventing Sunshine law violations and proper record keeping, it is best to always look at the state's charter, consult the state attorney general for guidance and lastly, inform all participants that what they type or "say" in the electronic forum is on the public record.
However, in 1999 the Miccosukee Tribe fried a lawsuit against SFWMD claiming that the board had violated the state's Sunshine Law by making the decision without proper public involvement.
5 issued a mixed ruling in a Sunshine Law dispute involving absentee ballots cast in the August 2016 democratic primary race between Bruce Franks Jr., now the state representative in District 78 in St.
The court ruled the city's three days' notice was reasonable notice; postponing deliberations on the difference between the $8.8 million amount approved by the council and the $1.3 million amount that was noticed was not only unnecessary under the Sunshine Law, but also unreasonable.
The governor's office contends his Facebook account is private and not subject to Missouri's Sunshine law. Since the "@EricGreitens" Facebook page had been created before he became governor, the social media account is not considered a public record, according to the governor's legal counsel.

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