Posted by Sara C. Clark on 7/8/2022

In February, the Ohio General Assembly passed House Bill (HB) 51, which allowed public bodies, including boards of education, to meet remotely, but only until June 30, 2022.

The expiration of HB…

Posted by John R. Price on 5/6/2022

On April 1, 2022, the Ohio Court of Appeals for the First District, which covers Hamilton County, issued a ruling in the case of State ex rel. Mohr v. Colerain Twp., invalidating a land use plan created by a township subcommittee that operated in violation of the Open Meetings Act (OMA). The decision serves as a reminder…

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Posted by Sara C. Clark on 4/29/2020

Last week, the Ohio Ethics Commission (OEC) issued an advisory opinion addressing the question of whether RC 102.03(B)…

Posted by Sara C. Clark on 3/17/2020

Across the country, individuals have been required or encouraged to limit face-to-face meetings and practice “social distancing” to slow the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). In light of these guidelines, OSBA has received numerous questions regarding the applicability of Ohio’s Open Meetings Act (OMA) during the pandemic. Because these state directives are changing on a day-to-day basis, boards should consult with legal counsel before making decisions about their meetings.

Can we cancel our school board meeting?
Boards of education are…

Posted by Sara C. Clark on 3/12/2019

This week is Sunshine Week, which is a national initiative to educate the public about the importance of open government. To help you in your roles as public officials, OSBA offers the following resources on the Ohio Public Records and Open Meetings Acts:

Posted by Megan E. Greulich on 3/12/2018

Earlier today, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine released an updated version of Ohio Sunshine Laws: An Open Government Resource Manual, which is commonly referred to as the “Yellow Book.” The manual includes information about Ohio’s Public Records Act and Open Meetings Act (collectively referred to as the Sunshine Laws) and includes recent updates. The manual serves as a great…

Posted by Sara Clark on 3/15/2017

Ohio’s Open Meetings Act was enacted in 1975 as Ohio Revised Code Section (RC) 121.22. It, together with the Public Records Act (RC 149.43), is commonly referred to as “the Sunshine law.”

The Open Meetings Act’s basic purpose is to require public bodies, including boards of education to:

  1. Hold public meetings, except where private meetings are specifically authorized by law;
  2. Provide notices of when those meetings will occur…
Posted by Sara Clark on 3/24/2015

All elected officials or their appropriate designees are required to attend public records training approved by the attorney general (RC 149.43(E)).  The training must be for three hours for each term of office for which the elected official was appointed or elected to the public office (RC 109.43(B)).

The Ohio Attorney General’s Office (OAG) has recently made the training available online.  As an alternative to a live three-hour certification training session, public officials or their designees can take the training online. The training consists of 13 separate YouTube videos,…

Posted by Candice Christon on 9/16/2013

On June 30, 2013, House Bill (HB) 59, also known as the budget bill, was signed by Governor Kasich. Effective September 29, 2013, the bill added a new topic to the topics that may be discussed during an executive session of a public body.

Under current law, RC 121.22 (G) provides seven topics, six of which are applicable to school boards, which allow public bodies to remove themselves from public view to engage in discussion regarding certain matters.

As a result of HB 59, school boards will be able to discuss an eighth topic during executive session. This new topic deals…

Posted by Jessica Spears on 11/4/2011

No. In advisory opinion 2011-038 (2011 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 038), the Ohio Attorney General (OAG) concluded that a public body (in this instance the State Board of Education) may not vote in an open meeting by secret ballot. The OAG determined that voting by secret ballot would violate Ohio's open meetings law in much the same way as a violation occurs when public officials whisper or pass documents among themselves during meetings or when a vote would improperly be taken during executive session. In such situations, a violation occurs because members of the public are prevented from knowing…