The Pennsylvania House State Government Committee held a hearing last week on a bill to establish strict criteria and reporting guidelines for public bodies that enter into private “executive session” meetings.
House Bill 1671 would narrow the instances when an executive session could be called. It would also require an audio recording of the executive session so if an allegation arises that the meeting was improperly held, it can be verified later by a judge. In addition, the bill would require the solicitor to advise the body on whether the topic it plans to discuss in executive session is appropriate. That advice would also be recorded.
Currently, no record of executive session is kept, so any allegations of impropriety are very difficult to prove.