Bill Text: MS HB1116 | 2017 | Regular Session | Engrossed

NOTE: There are more recent revisions of this legislation. Read Latest Draft
Bill Title: Special meetings; require notice of to be posted on public body's website.

Spectrum: Bipartisan Bill

Status: (Passed) 2017-03-22 - Approved by Governor [HB1116 Detail]

Download: Mississippi-2017-HB1116-Engrossed.html

MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2017 Regular Session

To: Accountability, Efficiency, Transparency

By: Representatives Wilson, Sykes

House Bill 1116

(As Passed the House)

AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 25-41-13, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REQUIRE NOTICE OF CALLED SPECIAL MEETINGS TO BE POSTED TO A PUBLIC BODY'S WEBSITE NOT LESS THAN TWO HOURS BEFORE THE MEETING; TO PROVIDE THAT A COPY OF THE NOTICE SHALL BE TRANSMITTED TO ALL PUBLICATIONS, BROADCAST AND DIGITAL MEDIA NOT LESS THAN TWO HOURS BEFORE THE MEETING IF THOSE MEDIA OUTLETS HAVE REQUESTED IN WRITING TO RECEIVE THE NOTICE; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.

     BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:

     SECTION 1.  Section 25-41-13, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     25-41-13.  (1)  Any public body which holds its meetings at such times and places and by such procedures as are specifically prescribed by statute shall continue to do so and no additional notice of such meetings shall be required except that:

          (a)  A notice of the place, date, hour and subject matter of any recess meeting, adjourned meeting, interim meeting or any called special meeting shall be posted within one (1) hour after such meeting is called in a prominent place available to examination and inspection by the general public in the building in which the public body normally meets.  A copy of the notice shall be made a part of the minutes or other permanent official records of the public body * * *.; and

          (b)  Except as otherwise provided by law, a notice of a called special meeting shall be posted to the public body's website, if the public body has a website and has the capability to update the website, not less than one (1) hour before the meeting.  A copy of this notice shall be transmitted via email or facsimile not less than one (1) hour before the meeting to all publications, broadcast and digital media with a general circulation or coverage within the public body's jurisdiction that have submitted in writing their interest to receive these notices.  Any public body may, at its discretion, purge any list of publications, broadcasts or digital media that have requested to receive the notices once every twenty-four (24) months.  After the purge, any publication, broadcast or digital media may resubmit in writing its interest to receive the notices.  Nothing in this paragraph (b) shall add additional notice requirements for meetings of public bodies held in cases of emergencies that result from serious damage to public property or roads or bridges, or in cases of emergencies that result from epidemic conditions or weather conditions.  The provisions of this paragraph (b) shall not apply to municipalities with a population as determined by the latest federal decennial census of less than twenty-five thousand (25,000) inhabitants, and any county with less than fifty thousand (50,000) according to the latest federal decennial census.

     (2)  Any public body, other than a legislative committee, which does not have statutory provisions prescribing the times and places and the procedures by which its meetings are to be held shall, at its first regular or special meeting after the effective date of this chapter spread upon its minutes the times and places and the procedures by which all of its meetings are to be held. 

     (3)  Notice of any regular meeting held by a state agency, other than a legislative committee, shall be submitted to the Department of Finance and Administration at least twenty-four (24) hours before the meeting in order to be posted on the department's searchable website created by the Mississippi Accountability and Transparency Act, Section 27-104-152 et seq.  For purposes of this subsection, the term "state agency" means an agency, department, institution, board, commission, council, office, bureau, division, committee or subcommittee of the state.  However, the term "state agency" does not include institutions of higher learning, community and junior colleges, counties or municipalities.

     (4)  During a regular or special session of the Mississippi Legislature, notice of meetings of all committees, other than conference committees, shall be given by announcement on the loudspeaker during sessions of the House of Representatives or Senate or by posting on a bulletin board provided for that purpose by each body.

     (5)  When not in session, the meeting times and places of all committees shall be kept by the Clerk of the House of Representatives as to House committees and by the Secretary of the Senate as to Senate committees, and shall be available at all times during regular working hours to the public and news media.

     SECTION 2.  This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2017.


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