ARTICLE 4 - PUBLIC MEETINGS
 
16-4-401.  Statement of purpose.
 
The agencies of Wyoming exist to conduct public business. Certain deliberations and actions shall be taken openly as provided in this act.
 
16-4-402.  Definitions.
 
(a)  As used in this act:
 
(i)  "Action" means the transaction of official business of an agency including a collective decision, a collective commitment or promise to make a positive or negative decision, or an actual vote upon a motion, proposal, resolution, regulation, rule, order or ordinance at a meeting;
 
(ii)  "Agency" means any authority, bureau, board, commission, committee, or subagency of the state, a county, a municipality or other political subdivision which is created by or pursuant to the Wyoming constitution, statute or ordinance, other than the state legislature, the judiciary and the consensus revenue estimating group as defined in W.S. 9-2-1002;
 
Note: Effective 7/1/2018 this paragraph will read as:
 
"Agency" means any authority, bureau, board, commission, committee, or subagency of the state, a county, a municipality or other political subdivision which is created by or pursuant to the Wyoming constitution, statute or ordinance, other than the state legislature, the judiciary, the consensus revenue estimating group as defined in W.S. 9-2-1002 and the investment funds committee created by W.S. 9-4-720;
 
(iii)  "Meeting" means an assembly of at least a quorum of the governing body of an agency which has been called by proper authority of the agency for the expressed purpose of discussion, deliberation, presentation of information or taking action regarding public business;
 
(iv)  "Assembly" means communicating in person, by means of telephone or electronic communication, or in any other manner such that all participating members are able to communicate with each other contemporaneously;
 
(v)  "This act" means W.S. 16-4-401 through 16-4-408.
 
16-4-403.  Meetings to be open; participation by public; minutes.
 
(a)  All meetings of the governing body of an agency are public meetings, open to the public at all times, except as otherwise provided. No action of a governing body of an agency shall be taken except during a public meeting following notice of the meeting in accordance with this act. Action taken at a meeting not in conformity with this act is null and void and not merely voidable.
 
(b)  A member of the public is not required as a condition of attendance at any meeting to register his name, to supply information, to complete a questionnaire, or fulfill any other condition precedent to his attendance. A person seeking recognition at the meeting may be required to give his name and affiliation.
 
(c)  Minutes of a meeting:
 
(i)  Are required to be recorded but not published from meetings when no action is taken by the governing body;
 
(ii)  Are not required to be recorded or published for day-to-day administrative activities of an agency or its officers or employees.
 
(d)  No meeting shall be conducted by electronic means or any other form of communication that does not permit the public to hear, read or otherwise discern meeting discussion contemporaneously. Communications outside a meeting, including, but not limited to, sequential communications among members of an agency, shall not be used to circumvent the purpose of this act.
 
16-4-404.  Types of meetings; notice; recess.
 
(a)  In the absence of a statutory requirement, the governing body of an agency shall provide by ordinance, resolution, bylaws or rule for holding regular meetings unless the agency's normal business does not require regular meetings in which case the agency shall provide notice of its next meeting to any person who requests notice. A request for notice may be made for future meetings of an agency. The request shall be in writing and renewed annually to the agency.
 
(b)  Special meetings may be called by the presiding officer of a governing body by giving verbal, electronic or written notice of the meeting to each member of the governing body and to each newspaper of general circulation, radio or television station requesting the notice. The notice shall specify the time and place of the special meeting and the business to be transacted and shall be issued at least eight (8) hours prior to the commencement of the meeting. No other business shall be considered at a special meeting. Proof of delivery of verbal notice to the newspaper of general circulation, radio or television station may be made by affidavit of the clerk or other employee or officer of the agency charged or responsible for distribution of the notice of the meeting.
 
(c)  The governing body of an agency may recess any regular, special, or recessed regular or special meeting to a place and at a time specified in an order of recess. A copy of the order of recess shall be conspicuously posted on or near the door of the place where the meeting or recessed meeting was held.
 
(d)  The governing body of an agency may hold an emergency meeting on matters of serious immediate concern to take temporary action without notice. Reasonable effort shall be made to offer public notice. All action taken at an emergency meeting is of a temporary nature and in order to become permanent shall be reconsidered and acted upon at an open public meeting within forty-eight (48) hours, excluding weekends and holidays, unless the event constituting the emergency continues to exist after forty-eight (48) hours. In such case the governing body may reconsider and act upon the temporary action at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the agency, but in no event later than thirty (30) days from the date of the emergency action.
 
(e)  Day-to-day administrative activities of an agency, its officers and its employees shall not be subject to the notice requirements of this section.
 
16-4-405.  Executive sessions.
 
(a)  A governing body of an agency may hold executive sessions not open to the public:
 
(i)  With the attorney general, county attorney, district attorney, city attorney, sheriff, chief of police or their respective deputies, or other officers of the law, on matters posing a threat to the security of public or private property, or a threat to the public's right of access;
 
(ii)  To consider the appointment, employment, right to practice or dismissal of a public officer, professional person or employee, or to hear complaints or charges brought against an employee, professional person or officer, unless the employee, professional person or officer requests a public hearing. The governing body may exclude from any public or private hearing during the examination of a witness, any or all other witnesses in the matter being investigated. Following the hearing or executive session, the governing body may deliberate on its decision in executive sessions;
 
(iii)  On matters concerning litigation to which the governing body is a party or proposed litigation to which the governing body may be a party;
 
(iv)  On matters of national security;
 
(v)  When the agency is a licensing agency while preparing, administering or grading examinations;
 
(vi)  When considering and acting upon the determination of the term, parole or release of an individual from a correctional or penal institution;
 
(vii)  To consider the selection of a site or the purchase of real estate when the publicity regarding the consideration would cause a likelihood of an increase in price;
 
(viii)  To consider acceptance of gifts, donations and bequests which the donor has requested in writing be kept confidential;
 
(ix)  To consider or receive any information classified as confidential by law;
 
(x)  To consider accepting or tendering offers concerning wages, salaries, benefits and terms of employment during all negotiations;
 
(xi)  To consider suspensions, expulsions or other disciplinary action in connection with any student as provided by law.
 
(b)  Minutes shall be maintained of any executive session.  Except for those parts of minutes of an executive session reflecting a members' objection to the executive session as being in violation of this act, minutes and proceedings of executive sessions shall be confidential and produced only in response to a valid court order.
 
(c)  Unless a different procedure or vote is otherwise specified by law, an executive session may be held only pursuant to a motion that is duly seconded and carried by majority vote of the members of the governing body in attendance when the motion is made. A motion to hold an executive session which specifies any of the reasons set forth in paragraphs (a)(i) through (xi) of this section shall be sufficient notice of the issue to be considered in an executive session.
 
16-4-406.  Disruption of public meetings.
 
If any public meeting is willfully disrupted by a person or group of persons so as to render the orderly conduct of the meeting unfeasible, and order cannot be restored by the removal of the person or persons who are willfully interrupting the meeting, the governing body of an agency may order the removal of the person or group from the meeting room and continue in session, or may recess the meeting and reconvene at another location. Only matters appearing on the agenda may be acted upon in a meeting recessed to another location. A governing body of an agency shall establish procedures for readmitting an individual or individuals not responsible for disturbing the conduct of a meeting. Duly accredited members of the press or other news media except those who participated in a disturbance shall be allowed to attend any meeting permitted by this section.
 
16-4-407.  Conflict of law.
 
If the provisions of this act conflict with any other statute, the provisions of this act shall control.
 
16-4-408.  Penalty.
 
(a)  Any member or members of an agency who knowingly or intentionally violate the provisions of this act shall be liable for a civil penalty not to exceed seven hundred fifty dollars ($750.00) except as provided in this subsection. Any member of the governing body of an agency who attends or remains at a meeting knowing the meeting is in violation of this act shall be liable under this subsection unless minutes were taken during the meeting and the parts thereof recording the member's objections are made public or at the next regular public meeting the member objects to the meeting where the violation occurred and asks that the objection be recorded in the minutes.
 
(b)  If any action is prohibited both by this act and any provision of title 6, the provisions of this act shall not apply and the provisions of title 6 shall apply.