Panel Votes Recommend Legalizing Private Meetings of Officials

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A legislative panel is recommending members of local government bodies be allowed to meet privately in small numbers to discuss public business and even decide how they will vote.

If adopted in the General Assembly, that would be a big change over the current law that does not allow any private meetings, with some narrow exceptions.

The proposal, adopted by a study committee as a recommendation to the legislature, allows up to three members be to deliberate in private as long as they do not constitute a majority of whatever body they serve on.

Sen. Joe Haynes, D-Goodlettsville, proposed the change, saying the current law is "not practical."

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

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