The public’s right to attend governmental agency meetings in Pennsylvania is based upon a state law called the “Sunshine Act.” The Sunshine Act applies to public agencies, which include Pennsylvania executive branch agencies, the General Assembly, and municipal authorities, such as township boards of supervisors and local school boards. The Act also covers any organization created by statute that declares in substance that it performs an essential governmental function, exercises governmental authority and takes official action.
The Sunshine Act mandates that agencies are required to conduct their deliberations in public. As with many laws, there are exceptions to the public meeting requirements of the Sunshine Act, but the law begins with a statement of intent, stressing the right of the public to witness the decision-making process to ensure that the democratic process functions property.
You can access the full text of the Sunshine Act from links to this page, as well as other resources and recent material related to the Sunshine Act and any proposed legislative changes to the Act.
Read the text of the Sunshine Act
The PNA has provided clarification on parts of the Sunshine Act.
What to do when a meeting is closed
PNA-provided editorial on issues with the Sunshine Act
PNA Member published editorials