§313. Executive sessions

Link to law: http://legislature.vermont.gov/statutes/section/01/005/00313
Published: 2015

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The Vermont Statutes Online



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313. Executive sessions

(a) No public

body may hold an executive session from which the public is excluded, except by

the affirmative vote of two-thirds of its members present in the case of any

public body of State government or of a majority of its members present in the

case of any public body of a municipality or other political subdivision. A

motion to go into executive session shall indicate the nature of the business

of the executive session, and no other matter may be considered in the executive

session. Such vote shall be taken in the course of an open meeting and the

result of the vote recorded in the minutes. No formal or binding action shall

be taken in executive session except for actions relating to the securing of

real estate options under subdivision (2) of this subsection. Minutes of an

executive session need not be taken, but if they are, the minutes shall,

notwithstanding subsection 312(b) of this title, be exempt from public copying

and inspection under the Public Records Act. A public body may not hold an

executive session except to consider one or more of the following:

(1) after making

a specific finding that premature general public knowledge would clearly place

the public body or a person involved at a substantial disadvantage:

(A) contracts;

(B) labor

relations agreements with employees;

(C) arbitration

or mediation;

(D) grievances,

other than tax grievances;

(E) pending or

probable civil litigation or a prosecution, to which the public body is or may

be a party;

(F) confidential

attorney-client communications made for the purpose of providing professional

legal services to the body;

(2) the

negotiating or securing of real estate purchase or lease options;

(3) the

appointment or employment or evaluation of a public officer or employee,

provided that the public body shall make a final decision to hire or appoint a

public officer or employee in an open meeting and shall explain the reasons for

its final decision during the open meeting;

(4) a

disciplinary or dismissal action against a public officer or employee; but

nothing in this subsection shall be construed to impair the right of such

officer or employee to a public hearing if formal charges are brought;

(5) a clear and

imminent peril to the public safety;

(6) records

exempt from the access to public records provisions of section 316 of this

title; provided, however, that discussion of the exempt record shall not itself

permit an extension of the executive session to the general subject to which

the record pertains;

(7) the academic

records or suspension or discipline of students;

(8) testimony

from a person in a parole proceeding conducted by the Parole Board if public

disclosure of the identity of the person could result in physical or other harm

to the person;

(9) information

relating to a pharmaceutical rebate or to supplemental rebate agreements, which

is protected from disclosure by federal law or the terms and conditions

required by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services as a condition of

rebate authorization under the Medicaid program, considered pursuant to 33

V.S.A. §§ 1998(f)(2) and 2002(c);

(10) municipal

or school security or emergency response measures, the disclosure of which

could jeopardize public safety.

(b) Attendance

in executive session shall be limited to members of the public body, and, in

the discretion of the public body, its staff, clerical assistants and legal

counsel, and persons who are subjects of the discussion or whose information is


(c) The Senate

and House of Representatives, in exercising the power to make their own rules

conferred by Chapter II of the Vermont Constitution, shall be governed by the

provisions of this section in regulating the admission of the public as

provided in Chapter II, § 8 of the Constitution. (Amended 1973, No. 78, § 2,

eff. April 23, 1973; 1979, No. 151 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 24, 1980;

1987, No. 256 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 3, 4; 1997, No. 148 (Adj. Sess.), § 65, eff.

April 29, 1998; 2005, No. 71, § 308a, eff. June 21, 2005; 2011, No. 59, § 7;

2013, No. 143 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 2015, No. 23, § 1.)