State of Louisiana Open Meetings Law revised Feb. 2, 2021
This is a copy of the open meetings law with comments at the end regarding what impact of misconduct has on disaster recovery in the state of Louisiana.
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By Murray Wennerlund published 10-10-2022 updated 10-10-2022

State of Louisiana Open Meeting Law in FAQ format. 

Start Publication by the State of Louisiana. 

The following document summarizes the general principles and guidelines concerning Louisiana’s Open Meetings Law. This document is presented in a “frequently asked questions” (FAQ) format. While the document is fairly detailed, remember that every situation is unique and that each situation deserves careful individual review.

To facilitate your use of this document, numerous links will direct your attention to related areas within the document and to other documents posted on the Louisiana Legislative Auditor’s website and on external websites. For example, under the index section, you may go directly to any area of the FAQ by clicking the question you wish to view. Within the FAQ, several links will direct you to other areas of the FAQ and to relevant external documents. If you click on the individual question number, you will link to the index in order to select another question to view.

Index

I. General

  1. What is the Louisiana Open Meetings Law, and where is it found?
  2. To whom does the Open Meetings Law apply?
  3. What is a public body?
  4. When is a private non-profit entity a public body for the purposes of the Open Meetings Law?
  5. How should the Open Meetings Law be interpreted?
  6. What is a meeting?
  7. What is a Quorum?
  8. What is a Walking Quorum?
  9. What are the requirements of an Open Meeting?
  10. Is the public allowed to participate in Open Meetings?
  11. Are public bodies required to give notice before they meet?
  12. How should public bodies publish their notices for meetings?
  13. What must be included in the meeting notice?
  14. How are items listed on the agenda?
  15. Can an agenda be changed prior to the meeting?
  16. What are the procedures to add to or delete items from an agenda?
  17. What is the procedure for public bodies to take up items on the agenda?
  18. What is an extraordinary emergency?
  19. How is written public notice given?
  20. How are a public body’s principal office and official journal determined?
  21. Are public bodies required to keep minutes?
  22. Are public bodies required to vote in any particular manner?
  23. Must public bodies allow the recording of their meetings?  
  24. May a public body meet on a legal holiday?
  25. Are there any exceptions to the Open Meeting Requirements?
  26. Is there a sample certification for a meeting conducted under the R.S. 42:17.1 emergency exception?

II. Executive Session

   27. When may public bodies have “closed” executive sessions?
   28. What are valid reasons for entering into executive session?
   29. What are invalid reasons for entering into executive session?
   30. What are prerequisites for a closed session to discuss an individual’s character and fitness?
   31. What is considered litigation for the purpose of closing a meeting?
   32. What are the requirements for the State Mineral Board to close its meetings?
   33. What are the requirements for a school board to close its meeting to discuss a student?

III. Violations of Open Meetings Law

   34. What happens if a public body violates the Open Meetings Law?
   35. Who must enforce the Open Meetings Law?
   36. What relief may be granted for violations?
   37. Where may one initiate enforcement proceedings?
   38. What is the maximum amount that can be assessed as a civil penalty for Open Meetings Law violations?

IV. Special Notice to Propose Taxes

   39. What are the notice provisions regarding public meetings to propose , increase, renew or continue taxes?

V. Miscellaneous

   40. What are the provisions regarding a public employer entering a collective bargaining agreement?
   41. Is a nonprofit corporation certified by BESE as a local charter authorizer subject to the Open Meetings Law?
   42. What is the notice requirement regarding a public hearing on municipal zoning regulations?
   43. How is a special meeting called by a Lawrason Act municipality?

Download the PDF full document with opinions here.