Panel Partially Backs Down On Weaker Open Meetings Law

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A legislative panel has partially retreated on a recommendation for when meetings of government officials must be open to the public.

The panel last month voted 7-2 to recommend weakening the state's "Sunshine Law" by allowing a quorum of a government panel to meet and discuss business in private. Current law, which applies to local officials but not to the General Assembly, does not allow any discussion of public business behind closed doors, with few exceptions.

Yesterday the panel decided to rescind the change to a quorum standard and instead voted 5-4 to recommend that up to four members of a panel could meet in private as long as they did not make up a majority of that panel.

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

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