Section: Effect of enactment of Revised Statutes upon existing offices, etc., and the incumbents thereof
7. a. Except as provided by subsection b. of this section all meetings of public bodies shall be open to the public at all times. Nothing in this act shall be construed to limit the discretion of a public body to permit, prohibit or regulate the active participation of the public at any meeting, except that a municipal governing body and a board of education shall be required to set aside a portion of every meeting of the municipal governing body or board of education, the length of the portion to be determined by the municipal governing body or board of education, for public comment on any governmental or school district issue that a member of the public feels may be of concern to the residents of the municipality or school district.
b. A public body may exclude the public only from that portion of a meeting at which the public body discusses:
(1) Any matter which, by express provision of federal law or State statute or rule of court shall be rendered confidential or excluded from the provisions of subsection a. of this section.
(2) Any matter in which the release of information would impair a right to receive funds from the Government of the United States.
(3) Any material the disclosure of which constitutes an unwarranted invasion of individual privacy such as any records, data, reports, recommendations, or other personal material of any educational, training, social service, medical, health, custodial, child protection, rehabilitation, legal defense, welfare, housing, relocation, insurance and similar program or institution operated by a public body pertaining to any specific individual admitted to or served by such institution or program, including but not limited to information relative to the individual's personal and family circumstances, and any material pertaining to admission, discharge, treatment, progress or condition of any individual, unless the individual concerned (or, in the case of a minor or incompetent, his guardian) shall request in writing that the same be disclosed publicly.
(4) Any collective bargaining agreement, or the terms and conditions which are proposed for inclusion in any collective bargaining agreement, including the negotiation of the terms and conditions thereof with employees or representatives of employees of the public body.
(5) Any matter involving the purchase, lease or acquisition of real property with public funds, the setting of banking rates or investment of public funds, where it could adversely affect the public interest if discussion of such matters were disclosed.
(6) Any tactics and techniques utilized in protecting the safety and property of the public, provided that their disclosure could impair such protection. Any investigations of violations or possible violations of the law.
(7) Any pending or anticipated litigation or contract negotiation other than in subsection b. (4) herein in which the public body is, or may become a party.
Any matters falling within the attorney-client privilege, to the extent that confidentiality is required in order for the attorney to exercise his ethical duties as a lawyer.
(8) Any matter involving the employment, appointment, termination of employment, terms and conditions of employment, evaluation of the performance of, promotion or disciplining of any specific prospective public officer or employee or current public officer or employee employed or appointed by the public body, unless all the individual employees or appointees whose rights could be adversely affected request in writing that such matter or matters be discussed at a public meeting.
(9) Any deliberations of a public body occurring after a public hearing that may result in the imposition of a specific civil penalty upon the responding party or the suspension or loss of a license or permit belonging to the responding party as a result of an act or omission for which the responding party bears responsibility.
L.1975, c.231, s.7; amended 2002, c.80; 2008, c.14.
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