NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A8155
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the public officers law, in relation to videoconferenc-
ing at public meetings and requiring that the minutes of a public meet-
ing at which videoconferencing is used reflect such fact
To allow public bodies the flexibility of continuing to hold virtual or
inperson/virtual hybrid meetings in accordance with the requirements of
New York's Open Meetings Law
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 of the bill repeals subdivision (c) of Section 103 of the
Public Officers Law.
Section 2 of the bill amends subdivision 4 of Section 104 of the Public
Officers Law to require meetings of public bodies to provide public
notice when a meeting is held virtually and to provide public notice
identifying physical locations that are open to the public when a meet-
ing is inperson/virtual hybrid.
Section 3 of the bill amends Section 106 of the Public Officers Law to
require the minutes of a meeting subject to the Open Meetings Law to
reflect whether the meeting was conducted by electronic means in whole
or in part, the type of electronic means used, which members partic-
ipated by electronic means, and other pertinent information.
Section 4 of the bill is the effective date.
Under the New York State of Emergency for the COVID-19 pandemic, the
requirements of the Open Meetings Law were relaxed to allow meetings to
be more easily conducted over virtual platforms like Zoom. Many public
bodies, such as New York City Community Boards, found this flexibility
to be beneficial to holding meetings that were more easily attended by
the public than in-person meetings.
Upon the expiration of the State of Emergency on June 24, 2021, public
bodies including Community Boards are required to once again comply with
the Open Meetings Law statute, which technically requires that any
member of a public body who is joining a public meeting via videoconfer-
ence must allow the public to attend in-person at the location from
which the member of the public body is videoconference.
This legislation would make sensible adjustments to the Open Meetings
Law that continues to ensure that the public has access to meetings by
public bodies, while giving members of public bodies more flexibility to
participate in the meetings via videoconferencing and other electronic
means from their homes.
To be determined.
This act shall take effect immediately.