Ohio sunshine laws training now available online

From The Dispatch Sunshine laws training for elected officials – and anyone interested in government transparency -- now is available online, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced today.

A new website allows government officials and the public to register and watch a series of 13 videos, ranging from 6 to 36 minutes in length, to complete the free, three-hour course on public records and open meetings laws.

The course, which features a quiz at the end of each video, can be completed at the user’s pace and need not be completed in one sitting. The videos capture material from in-person training sessions, which will continue to be offered. A link allows users to ask questions of DeWine's staff of experts on Ohio's Sunshine laws.

A certificate of completion awaits those who finish the videos and complete all the quizzes.

State law requires elected officials, or their designees, to complete Sunshine laws training once during their term. About 1,200 officials completed in-person training last year.

DeWine and his office hope the self-study online course will expand the number of government officials and employees taking public records training.

Representatives of the Ohio Newspaper Association and Ohio Township Association endorsed the online offering at a news conference this morning. The course also counts as three hours of continuing legal education for lawyers.

“Promoting open and transparent government is a priority of the Ohio attorney general’s office,” DeWine said. “I hope that this new online format will increase convenience and accessibility to our Sunshine laws training.”