Government Law

Wisconsin Supreme Court: Officials Must Specify Subject of Public Meetings

Government officials must specify the subject of public meetings, particularly when they know the subject is likely to be controversial, the Wisconsin Supreme Court says.

Ruling today on a parent’s protest that the state’s 30-year-old open meetings law had not been followed when the Tomah Area School District noticed an upcoming discussion of a controversial union contract issue as “employment/negotiations with District personnel,” the court said such notices must be “reasonably specific” under the circumstances to comply with the statute’s requirements for government meetings open to the public, reports AP.

The new standard will apply only to future meetings, the court’s opinion says. It also calls for the school district to pay attorney fees for Brian Buswell, a parent who filed the lawsuit.

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