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Important Changes to the Brown Act Effective July 1, 2008

Effective July 1, 2008, the Ralph M. Brown Act (“Brown Act”), imposes additional requirements on local agencies concerning regular meeting agendas and documents prepared by the agency for regular meetings. (See Government Code Section 54957.5.)

Current law requires that, when the local agency distributes non-confidential documents or writings prepared by the agency to all or a majority of members of a legislative body of a local agency during a meeting, the writings become public records and must be available to members of the public at that time.

Effective July 1, Section 54957.5 requires:

Any non-confidential documents or writings that the agency distributes, less than 72 hours before a regular meeting, to all or a majority of the legislative body’s members, be available to members of the public at the same time as distribution.

The agency identify on all agendas the address of the public office or location where the writings are available.