OPEN MEETING LAW 101
Arizona‛s Open Meeting Law in a Nutshell
Two core concepts
“All meetings of any public body shall be public meetings and all persons so desiring
shall be permitted to attend and listen to the deliberations and proceedings.” A.R.S § 38
“It is the public policy of this state that meetings of public bodies be conducted openly
and that notices and agendas be provided for such meetings which contain such
information as is reasonable necessary to inform the public of the matters to be discussed
or decided.” A.R.S. § 38431.09.
Why do we have an Open Meeting Law?
1. To protect the public.
a. To avoid decisionmaking in secret.
b. To promote accountability by encouraging public officials to act responsively and
2. To protect public officials.
a. To avoid being excluded (notice).
b. To prepare and avoid being blind sided (agenda).
c. To accurately memorialize what happened (minutes).
3. Maintain Integrity of government.
4. Better informed citizenry.
5. Build trust between government and citizenry.
What constitutes a meeting?
A meeting is a gathering, in person or through technological devices of a quorum of a
public body at which they discuss, propose or take legal action, including deliberations.
A.R.S. § 38431(4). This includes telephone and email communications.
Who must comply with Open Meeting Law?
Public bodies. "Public body" means the legislature, all boards and commissions of this
state or political subdivisions, all multimember governing bodies of departments,
agencies, institutions and instrumentalities of the state or political subdivisions, including
without limitation all corporations and other instrumentalities whose boards of directors
are appointed or elected by the state or political subdivision. Public body includes all
quasijudicial bodies and all standing, special or advisory committees or subcommittees
of, or appointed by, the public body. A.R.S. §38431(6).
"Advisory committee" or "subcommittee" mea