Public Meetings (Oppose – Mandate)

Public Meetings (Oppose – Mandate)

HB 265 (Newton) and SB 518 (Rader) add new requirements relating to how municipal meetings are conducted. The bills require that meeting materials, including the agenda and any supporting documents, be available at least three days before the meeting occurs, unless emergency circumstances occur. The bills require that at least two copies of the agenda and supporting materials be available for public inspection at the meeting location on the day of the meeting. The bills mandate that public comment be offered as either the first or last item on the agenda and requires that each member of the public has the right to speak for at least three minutes. If 20 or more members of the public wish to speak on a specific item, the presiding officer may restrict the time allotted for each speaker to one minute. The bills also require the commission to respond, either publicly at the meeting or through written correspondence, to any and all questions made by a member of the public; any written response must be provided within 10 days after the meeting and be incorporated into the minutes of the meeting. (Cook)