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Potential Return of Virtual Meetings

For those challenged by having to resume face-to-face board meetings this past November after the virtual meetings bill expired, there may be relief in the near future. Senate Bill 1031, which will resurrect a public body’s ability to conduct meetings virtually, is expected to be fast-tracked this session.

The bill appears to be nearly identical to the previous one, except in the new version, the ability to meet virtually will not expire until the governor declares our state of emergency over. There is not a specific end date attached, as was the case with the first such bill. Over a year into COVID-19, we’re clearly more realistic about the duration of our need to remain socially distanced. 

Another bill, Senate Bill 1032, proposes to allow for virtual meetings in any county where the governor has declared a state of emergency. This would continue until either the emergency declaration expires or the governor terminates it. Additionally, this bill contains language that would require public bodies to live stream their meetings on their websites (to the extent practicable, for public bodies that have a website and a high-speed Internet connection) and post recordings of those meetings on the website for later viewing. This bill will go through the regular, non fast-track legislative process.

Questions? Contact me for assistance.

Sarah Julian

Director, Communications

Sarah serves as the Director of Communications for the OPSRC. In this role, she provides support, consultation and training on a variety of critical tools and PR functions, including communication plans, social media policies, crisis communications, media relations and website content.

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