- Alaska Statutes.
- Title 44. State Government
- Chapter 62. Administrative Procedure Act
- Section 310. Government Meetings Public.
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. State Policy Regarding Meetings.
AS 44.62.310. Government Meetings Public.
- (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
- (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;
- (2) juries;
- (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; or
- (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.
- (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
- (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
- (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
- (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
- (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) 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.
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