A Pocket Guide to OPEN MEETINGS 1999
Defining Open Meetings
The Right to Speak
What the Law is Not
Living in Vermont, we expect openness in government. Any day the legislature is in
session, we can sit down in either chamber or in the various committee rooms, and see laws
being made. Any day we can walk into the county courthouse and attend any hearing or
trial, or watch the arguments
being given before the Vermont
Supreme Court. We can attend Act 250 hearings and meetings of the local zoning board, and
any other public body, and we can expect to see notices of those meetings in the newspaper
or on public bulletin boards. We can review and copy public documents in state and local
One important foundation of openness in Vermont is the Right to Know
laws, including those related to open meetings and public records. Together they are the
most important public laws we have, because they allow us direct access to the decisions
that affect us. A full understanding of these laws makes everyone a better citizen. This
is an introduction to the open meeting law.
can read the Open Meeting law for yourself. The Open Meeting Law is found in every town
clerks office, in Title 1 of the Vermont Statutes Annotated. Title 1 is in the first
volume of a set of green law books that include all of the statutory laws of the state.
Look for sections 310 through 314, and make sure you check the pocket part to see if there
is newer law to review for each section. You can also find this law on the internet
through the Vermont Automated Library System (VALS) at
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