The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 1: General Provisions

Chapter 5: COMMON LAW; GENERAL RIGHTS

Sub-Chapter 2: Public Information

1 V.S.A. § 313. Executive sessions



§ 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, shall not be made public subject to subsection 312(b) of this title. 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 needed.

(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.)