One of the laws that takes effect tomorrow means more to the average citizen than first meets the eye. It strengthens the 15-year-old law that protects the public's right to know what its state and local governments are up to.
The new law limits the ability of public bodies to meet behind closed doors. It also creates a watchdog Open Meetings Compliance Board. Though it has no enforcement power, the board can advise a public agency whether it is entitled to close a meeting. It can also respond to a citizen's complaint, even before a closed meeting is held. The board's legal counsel from the state attorney general's office screens complaints.