Title 42. Public Officers and Employees
Chapter 1-a. Open Meetings Law
42:19 Notice of meetings
A. (1)(a) All public bodies, except the legislature and its committees and subcommittees, shall give written public notice of their regular meetings, if established by law, resolution, or ordinance, at the beginning of each calendar year. Such notice shall include the dates, times, and places of such meetings.
(b)(i) All public bodies, except the legislature and its committees and subcommittees, shall give written public notice of any regular, special, or rescheduled meeting no later than twenty-four hours, exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays, before the meeting.
(ii)(aa) Such notice shall include the agenda, date, time, and place of the meeting. The agenda shall not be changed less than twenty-four hours, exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays, prior to the scheduled time of the meeting.
(bb) Each item on the agenda shall be listed separately and described with reasonable specificity. Before the public body may take any action on an item, the presiding officer or his designee shall read aloud the description of the item except as otherwise provided in Subitem (dd) of this Item.
(cc) Upon unanimous approval of the members present at a meeting of a public body, the public body may take up a matter not on the agenda. Any such matter shall be identified in the motion to take up the matter not on the agenda with reasonable specificity, including the purpose for the addition to the agenda, and entered into the minutes of the meeting. Prior to any vote on the motion to take up a matter not on the agenda by the public body, there shall be an opportunity for public comment on any such motion in accordance with R.S. 42:14 or 15. The public body shall not use its authority to take up a matter not on the agenda as a subterfuge to defeat the purposes of this Chapter.
(dd) If an agenda of a meeting of a governing authority of a parish with a population of two hundred thousand or more according to the latest federal decennial census or municipality with a population of one hundred thousand or more according to the latest federal decennial census contains more than fifty items, the governing authority may take action on items listed on a consent agenda without reading the description of each item aloud. However, before any action is taken on items listed on a consent agenda, the governing authority shall allow a public comment period. Any item listed on a consent agenda may be removed from the consent agenda by an individual member of the governing authority if a person objects to the presence of the item on the consent agenda and provides reasons for individual discussion at the meeting. The name of the person who objects to a consent agenda item and the reasons for the objection shall be included in the minutes of the meeting.
(iii) Following the above information there shall also be attached to the written public notice of the meeting, whether or not such matters will be discussed in an executive session held pursuant to R.S. 42:17(A)(2):
(aa) A statement identifying the court, case number, and the parties relative to any pending litigation to be considered at the meeting.
(bb) A statement identifying the parties involved and reasonably identifying the subject matter of any prospective litigation for which formal written demand has been made that is to be considered at the meeting.
(iv) In cases of extraordinary emergency, such notice shall not be required; however, the public body shall give such notice of the meeting as it deems appropriate and circumstances permit.
(2) Written public notice given by all public bodies, except the legislature and its committees and subcommittees, shall include, but need not be limited to:
(a) Posting a copy of the notice at the principal office of the public body holding the meeting, or if no such office exists, at the building in which the meeting is to be held; or by publication of the notice in an official journal of the public body no less than twenty-four hours, exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays, before the scheduled time of the meeting. If the public body has a website, additionally by providing notice via the Internet on the website of the public body for no less than twenty-four hours, exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays, immediately preceding the meeting. The failure to timely post notice via the Internet pursuant to this Subparagraph or the inability of the public to access the public body’s website due to any type of technological failure shall not be a violation of the provisions of this Chapter.
(b) Mailing a copy of the notice to any member of the news media who requests notice of such meetings; any such member of the news media shall be given notice of all meetings in the same manner as is given to members of the public body.
B. Reasonable public notice of day to day sessions of either house of the legislature, and of all matters pertaining to such meetings, including but not necessarily restricted to the content of notices, quorums for the transaction of business, proxy voting, viva-voce votes, and recordation of votes, shall be governed by the provisions of the Louisiana Constitution, the rules of procedure of the Senate and the House of Representatives, and the Joint Rules applicable to both houses. Reasonable public notice of meetings of legislative committees and subcommittees shall be given in accordance with such rules as are adopted by the respective houses for the purpose.
Redesignated from R.S. 42:7 by Acts 2010, No. 861, § 23. Added by Acts 1952, No. 484, § 1. Amended by Acts 1972, No. 669, § 1; Acts 1976, No. 665, § 1; Acts 1977, No. 707, § 1; Acts 1979, No. 681, § 1; Acts 1981, Ex.Sess., No. 21, § 1, eff. Nov. 19, 1981; Acts 1989, No. 390, § 1; Acts 2008, No. 131, § 1; Acts 2012, No. 461, § 1; Acts 2012, No. 747, § 1, eff. June 12, 2012; Acts 2013, No. 416, § 1; Acts 2014, No. 628, § 1.