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What is the Open Meetings Act?

On Behalf of | Aug 14, 2019 | Government Ethics And Compliance |

The people in your city have many different levels of interest. There may be a group that wants to be at every meeting, and there will be others that do not vote and are not interested in government business at all.

Whether your residents are interested or not, the State of Texas passed a law requiring that meetings of governmental bodies be open to the public.

Here’s what you need to know about how the open meetings act may apply to your city’s next meeting.

What the Open Meetings Act does

For people who want to be more involved in their local government, governmental meetings can seem like an exclusive party. Before the Open Meetings Act, residents might not find out about an important meeting until it was over, leaving interested people out of the conversation.

The Open Meetings Act makes sure that anyone interested in learning more or being involved has an invitation to what is happening. When a governmental body has a meeting, there are specific notification rules to make sure that the public is aware.

When it applies

While the Act applies to many meetings, it does not apply to all of them. The Open Meetings Act applies in either of the following conditions:

  • A quorum of the governmental body is meeting to discuss public business
  • A third party is meeting with a quorum of a governmental body to give or receive information.

In most scenarios, a quorum is a majority of the governing body. In some cases, however, a city may have a rule or charter that gives a different definition of a quorum.



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