For Immediate Release - February 10, 2011

Attorney General's Office to Hold Regional Open Meeting Law Educational Forums Throughout State

BOSTON - Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office will hold seven educational forums on the Open Meeting Law throughout the state during the months of March, April, May and June. On July 1, 2010, the Attorney General's Office assumed responsibility for enforcement of the Open Meeting Law from the state's District Attorneys, who previously enforced the law as it pertains to municipal bodies.

The forums are part of a broad effort by the Attorney General's Office to provide information on the revisions to the Open Meeting Law which took effect on July 1, 2010. State and local public bodies are required to comply with the Open Meeting Law. The Open Meeting Law educational forums will be conducted by attorneys and staff from the Attorney General's Division of Open Government and are open to the public.

The regional educational forums on the Open Meeting Law will be held at the dates and times below:

Brookline
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Brookline High School Auditorium
115 Greenough Street
Brookline, MA
(In coordination with the Office of Brookline Town Counsel)

Dracut
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
6:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Harmony Hall
1600 Lakeview Avenue
Dracut, MA

Bridgewater
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
6:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Bridgewater-Raynham Regional High School Auditorium
415 Center Street
Bridgewater, MA

Dalton
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
6:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Nessacus Middle School
35 Fox Road
Dalton, MA

Barnstable
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
6:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Barnstable Town Hall
367 Main Street
Hyannis, MA

Northampton
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
6:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Northampton High School
380 Elm Street
Northampton, MA

Worcester
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
6:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
Worcester Public Library
3 Salem Square
Worcester, MA

The Ethics Reform Act of 2009 (Chapter 28 of the Acts of 2009) made significant revisions to the Open Meeting Law, including centralizing the enforcement of the law in the Attorney General's Office and creating the Division of Open Government. The Division's responsibilities include receiving, reviewing, investigating and resolving Open Meeting Law complaints, creating and distributing educational materials about the Open Meeting Law, providing training on the Open Meeting Law, promulgating regulations, and responding to general inquiries about the Open Meeting Law from members of public bodies, municipal attorneys and members of the public.

The educational forums are being offered free of charge. All members of public bodies, municipal employees, and members of the general public are encouraged to attend. Individuals interested in attending an educational forum are asked to register in advance by calling (617) 963-2246 or by emailing OMLTraining@state.ma.us, and providing: 1) their first and last names; 2) town of residence; and 3) indicating the location of the educational forum they will attend.

For more information on the Open Meeting Law, visit the Attorney General's website at www.mass.gov/ago/openmeeting.

Media are welcome to attend.

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