A N A C T
RELATING TO STATE AFFAIRS AND GOVERNMENT -- OPEN MEETINGS
It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
SECTION 1. Section 42-46-5 of the General Laws in Chapter 42-46 entitled "Open Meetings" is hereby amended to read as follows:
42-46-5. Purposes for which meeting may be closed -- Use of electronic communications -- Judicial proceedings -- Disruptive conduct. -- (a) A public body may hold a meeting closed to the public pursuant to section42-46-4 for one or more of the following purposes:
(1) Any discussions of the job performance, character, or physical or mental health of a person or persons provided that such person or persons affected shall have been notified in advance in writing and advised that they may require that the discussion be held at an open meeting.
Failure to provide such notification shall render any action taken against the person or persons affected null and void. Before going into a closed meeting pursuant to this subsection, the public body shall state for the record that any persons to be discussed have been so notified and this statement shall be noted in the minutes of the meeting.
(2) Sessions pertaining to collective bargaining or litigation, or work sessions pertaining to collective bargaining or litigation.
(3) Discussion regarding the matter of security including but not limited to the deployment of security personnel or devices.
(4) Any investigative proceedings regarding allegations of misconduct, either civil or criminal.
(5) Any discussions or considerations related to the acquisition or lease of real property for public purposes, or of the disposition of publicly held property wherein advanced public information would be detrimental to the interest of the public.
(6) Any discussions related to or concerning a prospective business or industry locating in the state of Rhode Island when an open meeting would have a detrimental effect on the interest of the public.
(7) A matter related to the question of the investment of public funds where the premature disclosure would adversely affect the public interest. Public funds shall include any investment plan or matter related thereto, including but not limited to state lottery plans for new promotions.
(8) Any executive sessions of a local school committee exclusively for the purposes (a) of conducting student disciplinary hearings or (b) of reviewing other matters which relate to the privacy of students and their records, provided, however, that any affected student shall have been notified in advance in writing and advised that he or she may require that the discussion be held in an open meeting.
(9) Any hearings on, or discussions of, a grievance filed pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement.
Failure to provide such notification shall render any action taken against the student or students affected null and void. Before going into a closed meeting pursuant to this subsection, the public body shall state for the record that any students to be discussed have been so notified and this statement shall be noted in the minutes of the meeting.
(b) No meeting of members of a public body or use of electronic communication shall be used to circumvent the spirit or requirements of this chapter; provided, however, these meetings and discussions are not prohibited.
Provided, further however, that discussions of a public body via electronic communication shall be permitted only to schedule a meeting.
(c) This chapter shall not apply to proceedings of the judicial branch of state government or probate court or municipal court proceedings in any city or town.
(d) This chapter shall not prohibit the removal of any person who willfully disrupts a meeting to the extent that orderly conduct of the meeting is seriously compromised.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.