Rep. Dunn Suggests Internet Chat Rooms For Open Meetings

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- State Representative Bill Dunn wants to let elected officials communicate with each other in an Internet chat room, which the public could see.

The Knoxville Republican wants that amendment the Tennessee pen Meetings Act.

Currently the so-called "Sunshine Law" prohibits two or more officials from deliberating privately on public business. The law does not prevent chance meetings among elected officials.

Dunn says the Legislature needs to make it easier for officials to conduct business while balancing the public's right to know.

Director Frank Gibson of the Tennessee Coalition for Open Government says he's reserving judgment about the proposal.

The Associated Press and the Knoxville News Sentinel, which prepared this report, are members of the coalition.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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