Tennessee Leaders Get Legal Opinion On Open Meetings

A state lawmaker says a recent legal opinion from the state’s attorney general has soothed concerns about Tennessee’s open meetings law.
Republican Rep. Tony Shipley of Kingsport said he requested the opinion to clarify that local government officials can meet privately over a meal, as long as they don’t decide public business.
Attorney General Bob Cooper cautioned in the opinion that while officials can share meals, they must avoid deliberating about official matters.
The Tennessee County Commissioners Association during this year’s legislative session sought to have the state’s open meetings law changed to allow private meetings among officials as long as a quorum isn’t present.
Republican Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey of Blountville said he’s receptive to arguments that the law is vague, but said changes are unlikely.