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Governor suspends Brown and Bagley-Keene Act meeting requirements

By California News Publishers Association, March 12, 2020

“Governor Gavin Newsom [has] issued an Executive Order suspending meeting requirements of the Brown Act and Bagley-Keene Act in response to the increasing threat posed by the Coronavirus.

“The order authorizes state and local bodies to hold public meetings by teleconference and to make public meetings accessible telephonically or otherwise electronically to all members of the public seeking to attend and to address the local or state agencies. …

The order suspends a number of teleconference requirements until the Governor lifts the emergency.

“The Executive Order requires state and local agencies that meet by teleconference under the order to:

“(i) Give advance notice of each public meeting, according to the timeframe otherwise prescribed by the Bagley-Keene Act or the Brown Act, and use the means otherwise prescribed by the Bagley-Keene Act or the Brown Act, as applicable; and

“(ii) Consistent with the notice requirement in paragraph (i), each state or local body must notice at least one publicly accessible location from which members of the public shall have the right to observe and offer public comment at the public meeting, consistent with the public’s rights of access and public comment otherwise provided for by the Bagley­ Keene Act and the Brown Act …

“The Order does not affect other key provisions of either act, including requirements to notify the public on each agenda of what is to be discussed at an open or closed session of the teleconferenced meetings, or the ability of the public to obtain agenda packets or other documents used by decision-makers for the meetings. Nor does the order change what the respective bodies are required to publicly report after they meet in closed session.”

Read more here.

Read the Executive Order here.

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