(a) All meetings of a governmental body of a public entity of the state are open to the public except as otherwise provided by this section or another provision of law. Attendance and participation at meetings by members of the public or by members of a governmental body may be by teleconferencing. Agency materials that are to be considered at the meeting shall be made available at teleconference locations if practicable. Except when voice votes are authorized, the vote shall be conducted in such a manner that the public may know the vote of each person entitled to vote. The vote at a meeting held by teleconference shall be taken by roll call. This section does not apply to any votes required to be taken to organize a governmental body described in this subsection.
(b) If permitted subjects are to be discussed at a meeting in executive session, the meeting must first be convened as a public meeting and the question of holding an executive session to discuss matters that are listed in (c) of this section shall be determined by a majority vote of the governmental body. The motion to convene in executive session must clearly and with specificity describe the subject of the proposed executive session without defeating the purpose of addressing the subject in private. Subjects may not be considered at the executive session except those mentioned in the motion calling for the executive session unless auxiliary to the main question. Action may not be taken at an executive session, except to give direction to an attorney or labor negotiator regarding the handling of a specific legal matter or pending labor negotiations.
(c) The following subjects may be considered in an executive session:
(1) matters, the immediate knowledge of which would clearly have an adverse effect upon the finances of the public entity;
(2) subjects that tend to prejudice the reputation and character of any person, provided the person may request a public discussion;
(3) matters which by law, municipal charter, or ordinance are required to be confidential;
(4) matters involving consideration of government records that by law are not subject to public disclosure.
(d) This section does not apply to
(1) a governmental body performing a judicial or quasi-judicial function when holding a meeting solely to make a decision in an adjudicatory proceeding;
(3) parole or pardon boards;
(4) meetings of a hospital medical staff;
(5) meetings of the governmental body or any committee of a hospital when holding a meeting solely to act upon matters of professional qualifications, privileges, or discipline;
(6) staff meetings or other gatherings of the employees of a public entity, including meetings of an employee group established by policy of the Board of Regents of the University of Alaska or held while acting in an advisory capacity to the Board of Regents;
(7) meetings held for the purpose of participating in or attending a gathering of a national, state, or regional organization of which the public entity, governmental body, or member of the governmental body is a member, but only if no action is taken and no business of the governmental body is conducted at the meetings; or
(8) meetings of municipal service area boards established under AS 29.35.450 — 29.35.490 when meeting solely to act on matters that are administrative or managerial in nature.
(e) Reasonable public notice shall be given for all meetings required to be open under this section. The notice must include the date, time, and place of the meeting and if, the meeting is by teleconference, the location of any teleconferencing facilities that will be used. Subject to posting notice of a meeting on the Alaska Online Public Notice System as required by AS 44.62.175(a), the notice may be given using print or broadcast media. The notice shall be posted at the principal office of the public entity or, if the public entity has no principal office, at a place designated by the governmental body. The governmental body shall provide notice in a consistent fashion for all its meetings.
(f) Action taken contrary to this section is voidable. A lawsuit to void an action taken in violation of this section must be filed in superior court within 180 days after the date of the action. A member of a governmental body may not be named in an action to enforce this section in the member’s personal capacity. A governmental body that violates or is alleged to have violated this section may cure the violation or alleged violation by holding another meeting in compliance with notice and other requirements of this section and conducting a substantial and public reconsideration of the matters considered at the original meeting. If the court finds that an action is void, the governmental body may discuss and act on the matter at another meeting held in compliance with this section. A court may hold that an action taken at a meeting held in violation of this section is void only if the court finds that, considering all of the circumstances, the public interest in compliance with this section outweighs the harm that would be caused to the public interest and to the public entity by voiding the action. In making this determination, the court shall consider at least the following:
(1) the expense that may be incurred by the public entity, other governmental bodies, and individuals if the action is voided;
(2) the disruption that may be caused to the affairs of the public entity, other governmental bodies, and individuals if the action is voided;
(3) the degree to which the public entity, other governmental bodies, and individuals may be exposed to additional litigation if the action is voided;
(4) the extent to which the governing body, in meetings held in compliance with this section, has previously considered the subject;
(5) the amount of time that has passed since the action was taken;
(6) the degree to which the public entity, other governmental bodies, or individuals have come to rely on the action;
(7) whether and to what extent the governmental body has, before or after the lawsuit was filed to void the action, engaged in or attempted to engage in the public reconsideration of matters originally considered in violation of this section;
(8) the degree to which violations of this section were wilful, flagrant, or obvious;
(9) the degree to which the governing body failed to adhere to the policy under AS 44.62.312(a).
(g) Subsection (f) of this section does not apply to a governmental body that has only authority to advise or make recommendations to a public entity and has no authority to establish policies or make decisions for the public entity.
(h) In this section,
(1) “governmental body” means an assembly, council, board, commission, committee, or other similar body of a public entity with the authority to establish policies or make decisions for the public entity or with the authority to advise or make recommendations to the public entity; “governmental body” includes the members of a subcommittee or other subordinate unit of a governmental body if the subordinate unit consists of two or more members;
(2) “meeting” means a gathering of members of a governmental body when
(A) more than three members or a majority of the members, whichever is less, are present, a matter upon which the governmental body is empowered to act is considered by the members collectively, and the governmental body has the authority to establish policies or make decisions for a public entity; or
(B) more than three members or a majority of the members, whichever is less, are present, the gathering is prearranged for the purpose of considering a matter upon which the governmental body is empowered to act, and the governmental body has only authority to advise or make recommendations for a public entity but has no authority to establish policies or make decisions for the public entity;
(3) “public entity” means an entity of the state or of a political subdivision of the state including an agency, a board or commission, the University of Alaska, a public authority or corporation, a municipality, a school district, and other governmental units of the state or a political subdivision of the state; it does not include the court system or the legislative branch of state government.
Other Sections in this Chapter:
- Sec. 44.62.010. Application to State Organization Act of 1959.
- Sec. 44.62.020. Authority to adopt, administer, or enforce regulations.
- Sec. 44.62.030. Consistency between regulation and statute.
- Sec. 44.62.040. Submitting regulations.
- Sec. 44.62.050. Style and forms.
- Sec. 44.62.060. Preparation and filing.
- Sec. 44.62.070. Fees.
- Sec. 44.62.080. Endorsement and filing.
- Sec. 44.62.090. Filing with local government unit clerks. [Repealed, § 2 ch 57 SLA 1969.] Repealed
- Sec. 44.62.100. Presumptions from filing.
- Sec. 44.62.110. Presumptions from publication.
- Sec. 44.62.120. Voluntary submitting and publication.
- Sec. 44.62.125. Regulations attorney.
- Sec. 44.62.130. Codification and publication.
- Sec. 44.62.140. Distribution of code and register.
- Sec. 44.62.150. Price. [Repealed, § 49 ch 127 SLA 1974.] Repealed
- Sec. 44.62.160. Date and content of register.
- Sec. 44.62.170. Form of publication. [Repealed, § 2 ch 57 SLA 1969.] Repealed
- Sec. 44.62.175. Alaska Online Public Notice System.
- Sec. 44.62.180. Effective date.
- Sec. 44.62.190. Notice of proposed action.
- Sec. 44.62.195. Fiscal notes on regulations.
- Sec. 44.62.200. Contents of notice.
- Sec. 44.62.210. Public proceedings.
- Sec. 44.62.213. Agency contact with the public.
- Sec. 44.62.215. Record of public comment.
- Sec. 44.62.218. Regulations affecting small businesses. [Repealed, § 2 ch 91 SLA 2005.] Repealed
- Sec. 44.62.220. Right to petition.
- Sec. 44.62.230. Procedure on petition.
- Sec. 44.62.240. Limitation on retroactive action.
- Sec. 44.62.245. Material incorporated by reference.
- Sec. 44.62.250. Emergency regulations.
- Sec. 44.62.260. Limitation on effective period of emergency regulations.
- Sec. 44.62.270. State policy.
- Sec. 44.62.280. Purpose of AS 44.62.180
- Sec. 44.62.290. Limits of the application of AS 44.62.180
- Sec. 44.62.300. Judicial review of validity.
- Sec. 44.62.305. Judicial relief in administrative matters.
- Sec. 44.62.312. State policy regarding meetings.
- Sec. 44.62.319. Short title.
- Sec. 44.62.330. Application of AS 44.62.330
- Sec. 44.62.340. Delegation of power by agencies.
- Sec. 44.62.350. Appointment of hearing officers.
- Sec. 44.62.360. Accusation.
- Sec. 44.62.370. Statement of issues.
- Sec. 44.62.380. Service of accusation.
- Sec. 44.62.390. Notice of defense.
- Sec. 44.62.400. Amended or supplemental accusation.
- Sec. 44.62.410. Time and place of hearing.
- Sec. 44.62.420. Form of notice of hearing.
- Sec. 44.62.430. Subpoenas; witness fees.
- Sec. 44.62.440. Depositions.
- Sec. 44.62.450. Hearings.
- Sec. 44.62.460. Evidence rules.
- Sec. 44.62.470. Evidence by affidavit.
- Sec. 44.62.480. Official notice.
- Sec. 44.62.490. Amendment of accusation after submission.
- Sec. 44.62.500. Decision in a contested case.
- Sec. 44.62.510. Form and retroactivity of decision.
- Sec. 44.62.520. Effective date of decision; stay.
- Sec. 44.62.530. Default.
- Sec. 44.62.540. Reconsideration.
- Sec. 44.62.550. Petition for reinstatement or reduction of penalty.
- Sec. 44.62.560. Judicial review.
- Sec. 44.62.570. Scope of review.
- Sec. 44.62.580. Continuances.
- Sec. 44.62.590. Contempt.
- Sec. 44.62.600. Voting procedure.
- Sec. 44.62.610. Charge.
- Sec. 44.62.620. Power to administer oaths.
- Sec. 44.62.630. Impartiality.
- Sec. 44.62.635. [Renumbered as AS 44.62.930 Renumbered
- Sec. 44.62.640. Definitions for AS 44.62.010
- Sec. 44.62.650. [Renumbered as AS 44.62.950 Renumbered
- Sec. 44.62.710. Purpose and applicability of AS 44.62.710
- Sec. 44.62.720. Determination of need for negotiated regulation making committee.
- Sec. 44.62.730. Use of convener.
- Sec. 44.62.740. Establishment, time line, support, and termination of committee.
- Sec. 44.62.750. Committee duties, procedures, and report.
- Sec. 44.62.760. Facilitator selection, duties, and authority.
- Sec. 44.62.770. Employees, contractors, and funding.
- Sec. 44.62.780. Judicial review.
- Sec. 44.62.790. Relationship to other requirements.
- Sec. 44.62.795. Confidentiality of certain records and documents.
- Sec. 44.62.800. Definitions. Repealed
- Sec. 44.62.930. Teleconferencing.
- Sec. 44.62.950. Short title.