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Vermont’s Open Meeting Law

1 V.S.A. §§ 310 -314

Vermont’s open meeting law requires all meetings of public bodies to be open to the public at all times, unless a specific exception applies. The purpose of the law is to promote transparency, accountability, and better decision-making in government.

In general, the open meeting law requires public bodies to:

  • Provide advance public notice of meetings, including meeting agendas.
  • Discuss all business and take all actions in open meeting, unless an exception in statute applies. (example: executive session)
  • Allow members of the public to attend and participate in meetings.
  • Take meeting minutes and make them available to the public.

This includes, but may not be limited to, Listers, Planning Commission, Selectboard.

Types of Meetings-

Notice Required Regular Meetings •Regular day and time set by ordinance or resolution •Agenda posted 48 hours in advance.

Special Meetings •Take place outside of a regular schedule •24 hours notice to members •Agenda posted 24 hours in advance.

Emergency Meetings •Only when necessary for immediate action •Public notice must be given as soon as possible before the meeting.

Executive Session– Items where “premature general public knowledge would clearly place the public body or a person involved at a substantial disadvantage.”

• Contracts • Labor relations agreements with employees.

• Arbitration or mediation.

• Grievances, other than tax grievances.

• Pending or probable civil litigation or prosecution, to which the public body is or may be a party.

• Confidential attorney-client communications made for the purpose of providing professional legal services..

• Pending or probable civil litigation or prosecution, to which the public body is or may be a party.

• Confidential attorney-client communications made for the purpose of providing professional legal services.

For full texts:

Text of Open Meeting law: https://legislature.vermont.gov/statutes/section/01/005

VT Open Meeting Law https://sos.vermont.gov/municipal-division/openmeetings/#:~:text=Vermont’s%20open%20meeting%20law%20requir es,better%20decision%2Dmaking%20in%20government.

Public Records Law https://sos.vermont.gov/municipal-division/public-records/