The so-called Sunshine Laws are those enacted that require federal, state and local government agencies to conduct their meetings as openly as possible. Used primarily to discourage secrecy in government, the Sunshine Laws permit the public to attend government meetings.
Originated in Florida 1905, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that the public could attend city and town government meetings. In 1953, both California and New Mexico passed the first statewide Sunshine Laws.
In 1970. enter Watergate, which brought the public awareness to secrecy in government to new heights. The public outcry about the resulting scandal prompted all states in the passing of some form of Sunshine Laws by 1977. Even the federal government responded by passing the Government in the Sunshine Act of 1976. This act opened many of the government agencies meeting to the public.