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PRIOR PRINTER'S NO. 581
PRINTER'S NO. 875
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
SENATE BILL
No.
554
Session of
2021
INTRODUCED BY STEFANO, BROWNE, AUMENT, MARTIN, A. WILLIAMS,
SCHWANK AND MASTRIANO, APRIL 13, 2021
AS AMENDED ON THIRD CONSIDERATION, JUNE 8, 2021
AN ACT
Amending Title 65 (Public Officers) of the Pennsylvania
Consolidated Statutes, in open meetings, further providing
for public notice and providing for notification of agency
business required and exceptions.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Section 709 of Title 65 of the Pennsylvania
Consolidated Statutes is amended by adding a subsection to read:
SECTION 1. SECTION 709(D) OF TITLE 65 OF THE PENNSYLVANIA
CONSOLIDATED STATUTES IS AMENDED AND THE SECTION IS AMENDED BY
ADDING A SUBSECTION TO READ:
§ 709. Public notice.
* * *
(c.1) Notification of agency business to be considered.--In
addition to any public notice required under this section, an
agency shall provide the following notification of agency
business to be considered at a meeting as follows:
(1) If the agency has a publicly accessible Internet
website, the agency shall post the agenda, which includes a
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listing of each matter of agency business that will be or may
be the subject of deliberation or official action at the
meeting, on the website no later than 24 hours in advance of
the time of the convening of the meeting.
(2) The agency shall post the agenda, which includes a
listing of each matter of agency business that will be or may
be the subject of deliberation or official action at the
meeting, at the location of the meeting and at the principal
office of the agency .
(3) The agency shall make available to individuals in
attendance at the meeting copies of the agenda, which include
a listing of each matter of agency business that will be or
may be the subject of deliberation or official action at the
meeting.
(C.1) NOTIFICATION OF AGENCY BUSINESS TO BE CONSIDERED.--
(1) IN ADDITION TO ANY PUBLIC NOTICE REQUIRED UNDER THIS
SECTION, AN AGENCY SHALL PROVIDE THE FOLLOWING NOTIFICATION
OF AGENCY BUSINESS TO BE CONSIDERED AT A MEETING AS FOLLOWS:
(I) IF THE AGENCY HAS A PUBLICLY ACCESSIBLE INTERNET
WEBSITE, THE AGENCY SHALL POST THE AGENDA, WHICH INCLUDES
A LISTING OF EACH MATTER OF AGENCY BUSINESS THAT WILL BE
OR MAY BE THE SUBJECT OF DELIBERATION OR OFFICIAL ACTION
AT THE MEETING, ON THE WEBSITE NO LATER THAN 24 HOURS IN
ADVANCE OF THE TIME OF THE CONVENING OF THE MEETING.
(II) THE AGENCY SHALL POST THE AGENDA, WHICH
INCLUDES A LISTING OF EACH MATTER OF AGENCY BUSINESS THAT
WILL BE OR MAY BE THE SUBJECT OF DELIBERATION OR OFFICIAL
ACTION AT THE MEETING, AT THE LOCATION OF THE MEETING AND
AT THE PRINCIPAL OFFICE OF THE AGENCY .
(III) THE AGENCY SHALL MAKE AVAILABLE TO INDIVIDUALS
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IN ATTENDANCE AT THE MEETING COPIES OF THE AGENDA, WHICH
INCLUDE A LISTING OF EACH MATTER OF AGENCY BUSINESS THAT
WILL BE OR MAY BE THE SUBJECT OF DELIBERATION OR OFFICIAL
ACTION AT THE MEETING.
(2) THIS SUBSECTION SHALL NOT APPLY TO A CONFERENCE OR A
WORKING SESSION UNDER SECTION 707 (RELATING TO EXCEPTIONS TO
OPEN MEETINGS) OR AN EXECUTIVE SESSION UNDER SECTION 708
(RELATING TO EXECUTIVE SESSIONS).
(D) MEETINGS OF GENERAL ASSEMBLY IN CAPITOL COMPLEX.--
NOTWITHSTANDING ANY PROVISION OF THIS SECTION TO THE CONTRARY,
IN CASE OF SESSIONS OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY, ALL MEETINGS OF
LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEES HELD WITHIN THE CAPITOL COMPLEX WHERE
BILLS ARE CONSIDERED, INCLUDING CONFERENCE COMMITTEES, ALL
LEGISLATIVE HEARINGS HELD WITHIN THE CAPITOL COMPLEX WHERE
TESTIMONY IS TAKEN AND ALL MEETINGS OF LEGISLATIVE COMMISSIONS
HELD WITHIN THE CAPITOL COMPLEX, THE REQUIREMENT FOR PUBLIC
NOTICE THEREOF SHALL BE COMPLIED WITH IF, NOT LATER THAN THE
PRECEDING DAY:
(1) THE SUPERVISOR OF THE NEWSROOM OF THE STATE CAPITOL
BUILDING IN HARRISBURG IS SUPPLIED FOR DISTRIBUTION TO THE
MEMBERS OF THE PENNSYLVANIA LEGISLATIVE CORRESPONDENTS
ASSOCIATION WITH A MINIMUM OF 30 COPIES OF THE NOTICE OF THE
DATE, TIME AND PLACE OF EACH SESSION, MEETING OR HEARING[.]
OR THE NOTICE IS PROVIDED VIA ELECTRONIC MEANS TO AN EMAIL
ADDRESS DESIGNATED BY THE PENNSYLVANIA LEGISLATIVE
CORRESPONDENTS ASSOCIATION.
(2) THERE IS A POSTING OF THE COPY OF THE NOTICE AT
PUBLIC PLACES WITHIN THE MAIN CAPITOL BUILDING DESIGNATED BY
THE SECRETARY OF THE SENATE AND THE CHIEF CLERK OF THE HOUSE
OF REPRESENTATIVES OR THE NOTICE IS POSTED ON THE PUBLICLY
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ACCESSIBLE INTERNET WEBSITE OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY.
* * *
Section 2. Title 65 is amended by adding a section to read:
§ 712.1. Notification of agency business required and
exceptions .
(a) Official action.--Except as provided in subsection (b),
(c) , (d) or (e) , an agency may not take official action on a
matter of agency business at a meeting if the matter was not
included in the notification required under section 709(c.1)
(relating to public notice).
(b) Emergency business.--An agency may take official action
at a regularly scheduled meeting or an emergency meeting on a
matter of agency business relating to a real or potential
emergency involving a clear and present danger to life or
property regardless of whether public notice was given for the
meeting.
(c) Business arising within 24 hours before meeting.--An
agency may take official action on a matter of agency business
that is not listed on a meeting agenda if:
(1) the matter arises or is brought to the attention of
the agency within the 24-hour period prior to the meeting;
and
(2) the matter is de minimis in nature and does not
involve the expenditure of funds or entering into a contract
or agreement by the agency.
(d) Business arising during meeting.--If, during the conduct
of a meeting, a resident or taxpayer brings a matter of agency
business that is not listed on the meeting agenda to the
attention of the agency, the agency may take official action to
refer the matter to staff, if applicable, for the purpose of
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researching the matter for inclusion on the agenda of a future
meeting, or, if the matter is de minimis in nature and does not
involve the expenditure of funds or entering into a contract or
agreement, the agency may take official action on the matter.
(e) Changes to agenda.--Upon majority vote of the
individuals present and voting during the conduct of a meeting,
an agency may add a matter of agency business to the agenda. The
reasons for the changes to the agenda shall be announced at the
meeting before any vote is conducted to make the changes to the
agenda. The agency may subsequently take official action on the
matter added to the agenda. The agency shall post the amended
agenda on the agency's publicly accessible Internet website, if
available, and at the agency's principal office location no
later than the first business day following the meeting at which
the agenda was changed.
(E) CHANGES TO AGENDA.--
(1) UPON MAJORITY VOTE OF THE INDIVIDUALS PRESENT AND
VOTING DURING THE CONDUCT OF A MEETING, AN AGENCY MAY ADD A
MATTER OF AGENCY BUSINESS TO THE AGENDA. THE REASONS FOR THE
CHANGES TO THE AGENDA SHALL BE ANNOUNCED AT THE MEETING
BEFORE ANY VOTE IS CONDUCTED TO MAKE THE CHANGES TO THE
AGENDA. THE AGENCY MAY SUBSEQUENTLY TAKE OFFICIAL ACTION ON
THE MATTER ADDED TO THE AGENDA. THE AGENCY SHALL POST THE
AMENDED AGENDA ON THE AGENCY'S PUBLICLY ACCESSIBLE INTERNET
WEBSITE, IF AVAILABLE, AND AT THE AGENCY'S PRINCIPAL OFFICE
LOCATION NO LATER THAN THE FIRST BUSINESS DAY FOLLOWING THE
MEETING AT WHICH THE AGENDA WAS CHANGED.
(2) THIS SUBSECTION SHALL NOT APPLY TO A CONFERENCE OR A
WORKING SESSION UNDER SECTION 707 (RELATING TO EXCEPTIONS TO
OPEN MEETINGS) OR AN EXECUTIVE SESSION UNDER SECTION 708
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(RELATING TO EXECUTIVE SESSIONS).
(f) Minutes.--If action is taken upon a matter of agency
business added to the agenda under this section, the minutes of
the meeting shall reflect the substance of the matter added, the
vote on the addition and the announced reasons for the addition.
Section 3. This act shall take effect in 60 days.
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