By: Staff reports
Media Wants To Prevent Secret General Assembly Meetings
The Tennessean of Nashville, The Commercial Appeal of Memphis, and
The Knoxville News-Sentinel were among many media outlets joining in
a lawsuit that aims to prevent the state’s legislative body from
meeting in secret, according to a report in the News-Sentinel.
Filed in late June by a former broadcast journalist, the lawsuit
contends the General Assembly improperly closed meetings on the state’s
budget. The lawsuit also seeks to invalidate the state budget that was
passed on June 28, but the media outlets are not supporting that part
of the suit. ‘All we are interested in is determining if the legislature
is … subject to the Sunshine Law,’ Tennessee Press Association lawyer
Richard L. Hollow told the News-Sentinel.
While the state’s Open Meetings Act generally prevents government bodies
from meeting in secret, the state Attorney General issued an opinion in
1989 that the Act applies to the General Assembly as a rule that
legislators can waive if they so desire.
A hearing is scheduled for later this week.
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