April 1, 2009 in Idaho

Idaho passes open meeting law reforms

The Associated Press
 

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The House voted 59-10 to toughen Idaho’s open meeting law, laying out stricter penalties and fines for not providing public notice.

The bill has already passed through the Senate and now goes before the governor.

Midvale Republican Rep. Judy Boyle argued Wednesday that the bill is still too lax because it allows committees or boards to change their agenda’s during the meeting. She says there will be no way for the public to know when to attend a meeting if the agenda can change.

The state wrote its open meeting law in 1974. It has been modified twice, but the current bill is largely unchanged.

If boards, including city or county commissions, simply err and hold an illegal closed meeting, they face a fine of $50. In more egregious violations where boards flout the limits fines could run to $500.


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