Sunshine laws are U.S. federal and state laws that require regulatory authorities' meetings, decisions and records to be made available to the public. Sunshine laws were first created in the mid-1970s in a bid to increase public disclosure of governmental agencies. Sunshine laws do not allow all citizens to attend meetings, but they do ensure that media and representatives of the public can attend. In addition, the Freedom of Information Act requires agencies to share information they have obtained with the public, allowing their decisions and records to be disclosed.

The disclosure of information due to implementation of sunshine laws gives investors a fair opportunity to review public documents prior to investing in government- or agency-related securities. Investors can review financial statements and other meeting decisions that might affect the performance or underperformance of a particular investment prior to purchase. These essential laws also afford citizens the ability to see behind the curtain of government and remain involved in the processes that affect their lives and any investments they might have made in relation to the government entity. Sunshine laws force governments to maintain accountability, which is critical to keeping the government on sound footing.

For more on this topic, read The Federal Reserve: Introduction.

This question was answered by Steven Merkel.

  1. Are UTMA accounts escheatable?

    Like most financial assets held by institutions such as banks and investment firms, UTMA accounts can be escheated by state ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Can the IRS audit you after a refund?

    The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) can audit tax returns even after it has issued a tax refund to a taxpayer. According ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How does escheatment impact a company?

    In recent years, state governments have become increasingly aggressive in enforcing escheatment laws. As a result, many businesses ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What happens if property is wrongfully escheated?

    If your financial accounts, such as bank, investment or savings accounts, are declared dormant and the managing financial ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How do financial advisors help you avoid escheatment?

    Financial advisors can help you avoid the escheatment of your financial assets by regularly reviewing all of your accounts, ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Are 401(k) accounts escheatable?

    Typically, 401(k) plans are not subject to state escheatment laws because they are covered under the Employee Retirement ... Read Full Answer >>
Related Articles
  1. Investing Basics

    What are the fiduciary responsibilities of board members?

    Find out what fiduciary duties a board of directors owes to the company and its shareholders, including the duties of care, good faith and loyalty.
  2. Investing News

    What Affirmative Action Means for Businesses

    A look at what Affirmative Action means for your business.
  3. Investing

    Protect Your Creations--Register Your Trademark

    Federally registering your brand name or logo offers the broadest protection against potential trademark infringement.
  4. Economics

    3 Notorious American White Collar Criminals

    Learn about the crimes and punishments of some of the most infamous convicted white-collar crooks.
  5. Entrepreneurship

    Hiring? Regulations Small Businesses Need to Know

    When a small business becomes an employer, it has new responsibilities. Make sure you familiarize yourself with regulatory requirements.
  6. Economics

    China's Former One-Child Policy Explained

    A look at China's former plan to control population growth.
  7. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    What This Market Timing Ruling Means for Investors

    What the Janus Supreme Court ruling on market timing means for investors and advisors.
  8. Term

    What's an Investment Advisor?

    An investment or financial advisor makes investment recommendations and analyzes securities.
  9. Investing

    Is it Time to “Buy” Inflation?

    Based on recent data from the Treasury-Inflation Protected Securities (TIPS) market, it would seem that most investors aren’t worried about inflation.
  10. Economics

    The 5 Countries That Produce the Most Carbon Dioxide (CO2)

    Learn about the top five countries, China, the United States, India, Russia and Japan, that are the largest contributors to carbon dioxide emissions.
  1. Brand

    A distinguishing symbol, mark, logo, name, word, sentence or ...
  2. Catalyst

    A catalyst in equity markets is a revelation or event that propels ...
  3. Novation

    1.The act of replacing one participating member of a contract ...
  4. Maintenance Margin

    The minimum amount of equity that must be maintained in a margin ...
  5. Corporate Social Responsibility

    Corporate initiative to assess and take responsibility for the ...
  6. Emergency Banking Act Of 1933

    A bill passed during the administration of former U.S. President ...

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Cyber Monday

    An expression used in online retailing to describe the Monday following U.S. Thanksgiving weekend. Cyber Monday is generally ...
  2. Bar Chart

    A style of chart used by some technical analysts, on which, as illustrated below, the top of the vertical line indicates ...
  3. Take A Bath

    A slang term referring to the situation of an investor who has experienced a large loss from an investment or speculative ...
  4. Black Friday

    1. A day of stock market catastrophe. Originally, September 24, 1869, was deemed Black Friday. The crash was sparked by gold ...
  5. Turkey

    Slang for an investment that yields disappointing results or turns out worse than expected. Failed business deals, securities ...
  6. Barefoot Pilgrim

    A slang term for an unsophisticated investor who loses all of his or her wealth by trading equities in the stock market. ...
Trading Center