Capitol News Service by Jake Stofan
October 24, 2017
Public officials may soon have fewer restrictions when it comes to talking with colleagues.
A Senate Committee gave unanimous approval to a bill that would exempt public officials from informing the public every time they are with another local official.
Case law backs up the exemptions for not notifying when elected officials meet socially, as long as they don’t discuss official business.
Now, Senator Dennis Baxley says it’s time for the law to reflect the court decisions.
“It becomes a cumbersome thing if they’re both at some kind of conference or meeting. They can’t travel there together or they’re afraid to be seen even eating lunch together for fear of being accused of violating the Sunshine Law,” said Baxley. “I think this will bring a level of practical commonsense to how we conduct that without violating the public meeting requirements.”
The First Amendment Foundation hasn’t endorsed the Legislation as of yet, saying the exemptions are to vague. [READ MORE]