TO PROVIDE FOR GOVERNMENT IN THE SUNSHINE BY AMENDING THE NORTH CAROLINA CONSTITUTION.
Subject to approval by the voters at the statewide election on November 6, 2012, adds new Section 6 to Article XIV of the North Carolina Constitution to provide that every person has the right to inspect or copy any public record made or received in connection with the official business of any public body, officer, or employee of the state, or persons acting on their behalf, unless exempted pursuant to the proposed section. Provides that the constitutional amendment specifically includes the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of the government, and each agency or department created under those branches; local governments, their units and special districts; and every office, board, commission, or entity created pursuant to law or the NC Constitution.
Provides that all meetings of any collegial public body of the executive branch of state government or of local government or special district at which official acts are to be taken or at which public business is to be transacted or discussed, must be open and noticed to the public, unless exempted pursuant to the proposed section. Also provides that meetings of either chamber of the General Assembly must be open and noticed to the public, unless exempted.
States that the section is self-executing; however, the General Assembly may provide by general law for the exemption of records from the requirements. Directs the General Assembly to enact laws governing enforcement of the proposed section. Allows each chamber to adopt rules governing the enforcement in relation to records of that particular chamber and provides further guidelines for exemptions.
States that all laws in effect on January 1, 2013, that limit public access to records or meetings, will remain in force until amended or repealed. Also states that rules of court in effect on January 1, 2013 that limit access to records, will remain in effect until repealed.