A N A C T
RELATING TO STATE AFFAIRS AND GOVERNMENT
It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
SECTION 1. Section 42-46-6 of the General Laws in Chapter 42-46 entitled "Open Meetings" is hereby amended to read as follows:
42-46-6. Notice -- (a) All public bodies shall give written notice of their regular scheduled meetings at the beginning of each calendar year. The notice shall include the dates, times, and places of the meetings and shall be provided to members of the public upon request.
(b) Public bodies shall give supplemental written public notice of any meeting within a minimum of forty-eight (48) hours before the date. This notice shall include the date the notice was posted, the date, time and place of the meeting, and a statement specifying the nature of the business to be discussed. Copies of the notice shall be maintained by the public body for a minimum of one year. Nothing contained herein shall prevent a public body, other than a school committee, from adding additional items to the agenda by majority vote of the members. Such additional items shall be for informational purposes only and may not be voted on except where necessary to address an unexpected occurrence that requires immediate action to protect the public or to refer the matter to an appropriate committee or to another body or official.
(c) Written public notice shall include, but need not be limited to posting a copy of the notice at the principal office of the public body holding the meeting, or if no principal office exists, at the building in which the meeting is to be held, and in at least one other prominent place within the governmental unit; provided, that in the case of school committees the required public notice shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the school district under the committee's jurisdiction; however, ad hoc committees, sub committees and advisory committees of school committees shall not be required to publish notice in a newspaper; however, nothing contained herein shall prevent a public body from holding an emergency meeting, upon an affirmative vote of the majority of the members of the body when the meeting is deemed necessary to address an unexpected occurrence that requires immediate action to protect the public. If an emergency meeting is called, a meeting notice and agenda shall be posted as soon as practicable and, upon meeting, the public body shall state for the record and minutes why the matter must be addressed in less than forty-eight (48) hours and only discuss the issue or issues which created the need for an emergency meeting. Nothing contained herein shall be used in the circumvention of the spirit and requirements of this chapter.
(d) A school committee may add agenda items not appearing in the published notice required by this section under the following conditions:
(1) the revised agenda is posted on the school district's website and the two (2) public locations required by this section at least forty-eight (48) hours in advance of the meeting;
(2) the new agenda items were unexpected and could not have been added in time for newspaper publication;
(3) upon meeting, the public body states for the record and minutes why the agenda items could not have been added in time for newspaper publication and need to be addressed at the meeting;
(4) a formal process is available to provide timely notice of the revised agenda to any person who has requested such notice, and the school district has taken reasonable steps to make the public aware of this process; and
(5) the published notice shall include a statement that any changes in the agenda will be posted on the school district's web site and the two (2) public locations required by this section at least forty-eight (48) hours in advance of the meeting.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.