AN ACT TO PROVIDE FOR GOVERNMENT IN THE SUNSHINE BY AMENDING THE NORTH CAROLINA CONSTITUTION.
Subject to voter approval at the statewide election in November 2020, adds new Section 7 to Article XIV of the NC Constitution to establish the right to inspect and copy any public record made or received in connection with the official business of any public body, officer, or employer of the State or persons acting on their behalf. Specifically encompasses legislative, executive, and judicial branches and each agency or department thereunder, local governments and special districts, and every officer, board, commission or entity legally created. Further, requires all meetings of described public bodies where official action or business is to be discussed or transacted to be open and noticed to the public. Specifically requires NCGA meetings to be open and noticed to the public as provided by law.
Deems new Section 7 self-executing but authorizes the NCGA to provide for exemptions to the public record and open meetings requirements with two-thirds vote of the members present and voting of each house, so long as the law states a public necessity justification for the exemption and is narrowly tailored to that purpose, and related to one subject only. Requires legislative action to govern enforcement of this section, and allows each chamber to adopt rules governing enforcement in relation to the chamber's records.
Provides for the continued validity of all laws limiting public access to records or meetings, and all court rules that limit access to records, in effect on January 1, 2021, until amended or repealed, as appropriate.
© 2021 School of Government The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
This work is copyrighted and subject to "fair use" as permitted by federal copyright law. No portion of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the express written permission of the publisher. Distribution by third parties is prohibited. Prohibited distribution includes, but is not limited to, posting, e-mailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, installing on intranets or servers, and redistributing via a computer network or in printed form. Unauthorized use or reproduction may result in legal action against the unauthorized user.