Interstate Compact Sunshine Act

Interstate Compact Sunshine Act

Summary

Interstate compacts are a valuable and useful tool under the state and federal constitutions for the states to address public policy problems in a creative and imaginative manner. As with any form of public policy, however, interstate compacts should be both transparent and accessible to the public at large. At present, the public has little knowledge or ability to attain information on the business conducted by the governing bodies of interstate compacts. In a free society, the public has the right to have notice of the meetings of the governing bodies of interstate compacts. The public also has the right to access the official records of such meetings. The Interstate Compact Sunshine Act therefore requires governing bodies to comply with the requirements of state open access law.

Model Policy

{Title, enacting clause, etc.}

Section 1. {Title} This Act may be cited as The Interstate Compact Sunshine Act.

Section 2. {Statement of Purpose} It is the intent of the LEGISLATIVE BODY to make the governing bodies of interstate compacts, to which the state of {insert state} is or will be a party, subject to the open access laws of the state of {insert state}.

Section 3. {Definitions}
(A) “governing body” means the organization of an interstate compact that is authorized by the respective members to act on behalf of the respective members in the particular business that is the subject of the interstate compact.
(B) “interstate compact” means any agreement entered into between the state of {insert state} and one or more other states, regardless of subject matter or the need for federal congressional approval.
(C) “open access law” means a duly enacted law of the state of {insert state}, constitutional provision, regulation, or court ruling, such as a sunshine law or freedom of information act, that intends or has the effect of increasing the transparency of any government operation to public scrutiny.
(D) “written notice” means the written conveyance of information from the governing body to the citizens of the state of {insert state}, in a manner that would reasonably inform the citizens of the state of {insert state} that the governing body has scheduled a meeting, whether or not any citizen actually received the written conveyance.
(E) “records” includes, but is not limited to, meeting minutes, records of votes, or any other information that the governing body is required to keep under the terms of an interstate compact.
(F) “electronic” includes, but is not limited to, video, audio, or internet.
(G) “official meeting” means any meeting of an interstate compact governing body that is required by the terms of the interstate compact or a decision of the governing body.

Section 4. {Governing Body Compliance with Open Access Law}
(A) The state of {insert state} shall not enter into any interstate compact unless the governing body of the interstate compact complies with the open access laws of the state of {insert state}.
(B) Notwithstanding section (A), the state of {insert state}shall not enter into an interstate compact unless the governing body of the interstate compact provides, 30 days before an official meeting, written notice of its meeting and provides the public access to the written and electronic records of all official meetings.
(C) The participation of the state of {insert state} in any interstate compact that does not comply with sections (A) and (B) shall be null and void and is hereby rescinded, unless the governing body of the interstate compact shall take measures to comply with sections (A) and (B) within 6 months after the effective date of this Act.

Section 5. {Severability clause.}

Section 6. {Repealer clause.}

Section 7. {Effective date.}

 

 

Reapproved by ALEC Board of Directors  on January 29, 2013.

 

 

Keyword Tags: Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force

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