Chapter 9: Public Meetings Law

The purpose of the Oregon Public Meetings Law (OPML) is to make decision-making of state and local governing bodies available to the public. This policy is stated expressly in the law: “The Oregon form of government requires an informed public aware of the deliberations and decisions of governing bodies and the information upon which such decisions were made. It is the intent of [this law] that decisions of governing bodies be arrived at openly.”

This chapter touches on the basic requirements of the law, beginning with the criteria for what gatherings constitute “meetings” and what organizations constitute “governing bodies” under the OPML.  Where applicable, the OPML generally requires that meetings be open to the public unless an executive session is permitted, that proper notice be given, and that meeting minutes and votes be recorded.  The OPML also governs the location of meetings.  Finally, the OPML includes enforcement provisions for when these provisions are violated.

Topics Include:

  • Covered Entities
    • Governing Bodies of Public Bodies
    • Governing Bodies of Certain Private Bodies
  • Covered Meetings
    • ‘Convening’ a Meeting
    • Meeting ‘Quorum’
    • Meeting for a ‘Decision’
  • Requirements
    • Meeting Types and Notice
    • Proper Meeting Space
    • Recording and Retaining Minutes
    • Public Attendance and Participation
  • Executive Sessions
    • Executive Sessions for Municipalities
    • Final Decision Prohibition
    • Media Representation at an Executive Session
  • Enforcement
    • General Enforcement
    • Civil Penalties for Violations
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