Sunshine laws are regulations promoting openness and transparency in how the government works. They open for public inspection the records, votes, transcripts, deliberations and other types of government proceedings and provide a process for members of the public and the press to request copies of public records. These laws require that meetings be advertised in advance so people are aware they when and where they will be held, with a goal of making them accessible.
These laws have been enacted at the local, state and federal levels. The impetus for the federal laws came in the wake of the Watergate hearings which resulted in President Richard Nixon's resignation from office. It is just one of several laws that come under the Freedom of Information Acts, all intended to give the public access to all types of government information.
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