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 described in section 312 of this title 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 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) Contracts, labor relations agreements with employees, arbitration, mediation, grievances, civil actions, or prosecutions by the State, where premature general public knowledge would clearly place the State, municipality, other public body, or person involved at a substantial disadvantage;

(2) The negotiating or securing of real estate purchase options;

(3) The appointment or employment or evaluation of a public officer or employee;

(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) Discussion or consideration of records or documents excepted from the access to public records provisions of section 317 of this title. Discussion or consideration of the excepted record or document shall not itself permit an extension of the executive session to the general subject to which the record or document 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).

(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.)