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dotted line Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA)

The state's Open Public Meetings Act (RCW 42.30) applies to the City Council, all quasi-judicial bodies, and all standing, special or advisory boards, commissions, committees or subcommittees of, or appointed by the City Council with some limited exceptions.

All meetings in which the majority of the boards, commission, and committees of, or appointed by, the City Council must be open to the public, except in the special instances as provided in RCW 42.30.110.

A meeting takes place when a quorum (a majority of the total number of members) is present and information concerning City business is received, discussed, and/or acted upon. In order to be valid, ordinances, resolutions, rules, regulations, orders, and directives must be adopted at public meetings. The Act contains specific provisions regarding: regular and special meetings; executive sessions; types of notice that must be given for meetings; conduct of meetings; and penalties and remedies for violation of the Act.

For an in-depth discussion of the Act, see the MRSC publication entitled The Open Public Meetings Act - How it Applies to Washington Cities, Counties, and Special Purpose Districts updated in May 2008.

MRSC also has a publication dealing with basic legal guidelines for municipal officials called Knowing the Territory - Basic Legal Guidelines for Washington City, County, and Special Purpose District Officials that discusses the purpose of the Open Public Meetings Act and its application to Washington cities, counties, and special purpose districts. 


Page last modified: February 9, 2012

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