The Open and Public Meetings Act requires agendas be posted 24 hours in advance, except in the case of emergency meetings.
Powell said that there are public bodies that already post notices further in advance, giving people more time to prepare to discuss issues. He said if something came up after an agenda was posted, it could be amended to accommodate the unforeseen issues.
But it was defining "unforeseen" that raised Lincoln Shurtz's concerns. Shurtz, lobbyist with the Utah League of Cities and Towns, said with no definition, cities and public agencies would find themselves open to lawsuits hinging on whether officials believed an item was truly unforeseen by anyone.
Shurtz said the result of Powell's bill would be government bodies putting off action because they don't want to violate the deadlines.
Powell, an attorney who has represented public agencies, said his counsel on whether something is unforeseen is "if in doubt, don't put it on the agenda."
Committee members suggested watering the bill down to be more of a recommendation, and trust the public to weed out violators.
"If they keep [violating the notice requirements], it won't be long before they are not elected officials anymore, said Rep. Spencer Cox, R-Fairview.