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Attorney General publishes updated open meeting and public records manuals

The Aberdeen Times of Aberdeen, Idaho

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The office of the Idaho Attorney General has just published updated versions of its manuals on the idaho public records and open meetings laws and ethics in government. The revised manuals feature recent statutory changes, including the decision by the 2015 legislature to put the public records and open meetings laws into a new title of the Idaho Code. These chapters are now found in Title 74 and named 'Transparent and Ethical Government.'

"One of the most essential elements to a free and democratic society is government that honors, respects and promotes transparency," Attorney

General Lawrence Wasden said. "These manuals have always provided the tools and understanding of the laws designed to help the public hold government and its leaders accountable."

The revised versions of the public records and open meetings manuals reflect the new chapters each has been given in Idaho Code. Previously, those laws were previously lumped in with other chapters. The legislative changes mean the public and media can now find these important laws in one location.

The open meetings manual also includes the higher fines adopted by the legislature in 2015 for violating the law and modifications governing executive sessions for collective bargaining.

The Ethics in Government manual covers three primary ethics statutes, including the Bribery and Corrupt Influence Act; the Prohibition Against Contracts with Officers Act and the Ethics in Government Act.

Wasden also praised the recodification enacted by the legislature and ultimately approved by Gov. C.L. 'Butch' Otter. "This recodification reflects the importance that lawmakers and I place upon transparent and ethical government all across this state," Wasden said.

Due to the changes, Wasden also recommends that local government leaders take a moment to update their own materials related to recodification of Idaho's Public Records and Open Meetings laws.

The manuals are available on the attorney general's website http://www.ag.idaho.gov.



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Original Publication Date: August 12, 2015



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