Some Ohio public bodies try to stay in shadows

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CINCINNATI (AP) — While Ohio law calls for government that is open to the public, shadowy decision-making has led to recent court battles and a legislative effort to shed more light.

So-called "Sunshine Laws" being highlighted across the nation this week go back decades in promoting access to governments and their records. Ohio's Open Meetings Act declares that public bodies should take actions in meetings open to the public. Some exceptions are allowed, but disputes continue.

A Warren County judge ruled this month against township trustees meeting informally to discuss upcoming agenda items. Newspapers have challenged school boards, city councils and universities for secretive decision-making around the state.

Legislation by state Sen. Shannon Jones is meant to close loopholes. The Springboro Republican says the public has more trust in government that is open.

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