Texas Government Code - GOV'T § 551.005. Open Meetings Training




(a) Each elected or appointed public official who is a member of a governmental body subject to this chapter shall complete a course of training of not less than one and not more than two hours regarding the responsibilities of the governmental body and its members under this chapter not later than the 90th day after the date the member:

(1) takes the oath of office, if the member is required to take an oath of office to assume the person's duties as a member of the governmental body;  or

(2) otherwise assumes responsibilities as a member of the governmental body, if the member is not required to take an oath of office to assume the person's duties as a member of the governmental body.

(b) The attorney general shall ensure that the training is made available.  The office of the attorney general may provide the training and may also approve any acceptable course of training offered by a governmental body or other entity.  The attorney general shall ensure that at least one course of training approved or provided by the attorney general is available on videotape or a functionally similar and widely available medium at no cost.  The training must include instruction in:

(1) the general background of the legal requirements for open meetings;

(2) the applicability of this chapter to governmental bodies;

(3) procedures and requirements regarding quorums, notice, and recordkeeping under this chapter;

(4) procedures and requirements for holding an open meeting and for holding a closed meeting under this chapter;  and

(5) penalties and other consequences for failure to comply with this chapter.

(c) The office of the attorney general or other entity providing the training shall provide a certificate of course completion to persons who complete the training required by this section.  A governmental body shall maintain and make available for public inspection the record of its members' completion of the training.

(d) Completing the required training as a member of the governmental body satisfies the requirements of this section with regard to the member's service on a committee or subcommittee of the governmental body and the member's ex officio service on any other governmental body.

(e) The training required by this section may be used to satisfy any corresponding training requirements concerning this chapter or open meetings required by law for the members of a governmental body.  The attorney general shall attempt to coordinate the training required by this section with training required by other law to the extent practicable.

(f) The failure of one or more members of a governmental body to complete the training required by this section does not affect the validity of an action taken by the governmental body.

(g) A certificate of course completion is admissible as evidence in a criminal prosecution under this chapter.  However, evidence that a defendant completed a course of training offered under this section is not prima facie evidence that the defendant knowingly violated this chapter.





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