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PRIOR PRINTER'S NO. 1479
PRINTER'S NO. 1827
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
SENATE BILL
No.
1130
Session of
2022
INTRODUCED BY DUSH, HUTCHINSON, J. WARD, SCHWANK AND KEARNEY,
MARCH 9, 2022
SENATOR ARGALL, STATE GOVERNMENT, AS AMENDED, JUNE 28, 2022
AN ACT
Amending Title 65 (Public Officers) of the Pennsylvania
Consolidated Statutes, in open meetings, further providing
for definitions, for minutes of meetings, public records and
recording of meetings, FOR PUBLIC NOTICE, for public
participation and for use of equipment during meetings.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. The definition of "public notice" in section 703
of Title 65 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes is amended
and the section is amended by adding a definition DEFINITIONS to
read:
§ 703. Definitions.
The following words and phrases when used in this chapter
shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
context clearly indicates otherwise:
* * *
"Authorized telecommunications device." A device which
permits, at a minimum, audio communication between individuals.
"BROADCAST." THE TRANSMISSION OF A MEETING VIA RADIO,
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TELEVISION, TELECOMMUNICATIONS, INTERNET WEBSITE OR ANY OTHER
ELECTRONIC MEANS, WHICH IS INTENDED TO BE RECEIVED BY OR
AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC. THE TERM SHALL NOT INCLUDE THE
RECORDING OF A MEETING.
* * *
"Public notice."
(1) For a meeting:
(i) Publication of notice of the place, date [and],
time, method of broadcast and acceptance of remote public
comment, if applicable, of a meeting in a newspaper of
general circulation, as defined by 45 Pa.C.S. § 101
(relating to definitions), which is published and
circulated in the political subdivision where the meeting
will be held, or in a newspaper of general circulation
which has a bona fide paid circulation in the political
subdivision equal to or greater than any newspaper
published in the political subdivision.
(ii) Posting a notice of the place, date [and],
time, method of broadcast and acceptance of remote public
comment, if applicable, of a meeting prominently at the
principal office of the agency holding the meeting or at
the public building in which the meeting is to be held.
(iii) Giving notice to parties under section 709(c)
(relating to public notice).
(2) For a recessed or reconvened meeting:
(i) Posting a notice of the place, date [and], time
method of broadcast and acceptance of remote public
comment, if applicable, of the meeting prominently at the
principal office of the agency holding the meeting or at
the public building in which the meeting is to be held.
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(ii) Giving notice to parties under section 709(c).
* * *
Section 2. Section 706 of Title 65 is amended by adding a
paragraph to read:
§ 706. Minutes of meetings, public records and recording of
meetings.
Written minutes shall be kept of all open meetings of
agencies. The minutes shall include:
* * *
(5) A statement disclosing the availability of a
broadcast of a meeting and the acceptance of remote public
comment, if applicable. If a recording of the meeting is
available on an Internet website, the statement shall include
the web address or uniform resource locator to the recording
of the meeting . AT THE TIME WHEN THE MINUTES OF THE MEETING
ARE APPROVED.
SECTION 3. SECTION 709(C.1)(1) OF TITLE 65 IS AMENDED BY
ADDING SUBPARAGRAPHS TO READ:
§ 709. PUBLIC NOTICE.
* * *
(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:
* * *
(IV) IF THE AGENCY BROADCASTS THE MEETING, THE
AGENDA SHALL INCLUDE INFORMATION ON THE METHOD OF
BROADCAST.
(V) IF THE AGENCY ADOPTS RULES FOR REMOTE PUBLIC
COMMENT UNDER SECTION 711(D) (RELATING TO USE OF
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EQUIPMENT DURING MEETINGS), THE AGENDA SHALL INCLUDE
INFORMATION ON WHERE THE RULES FOR REMOTE PUBLIC COMMENT
CAN BE ACCESSED.
* * *
Section 3 4. Sections 710.1 and 711 of Title 65 are amended
by adding subsections to read:
§ 710.1. Public participation.
* * *
(e) Remote public comment.--If a board or council of a
political subdivision or of an authority created by a political
subdivision adopts rules for remote public comment under section
711(d) (relating to use of equipment during meetings), in the
event that remote public comment cannot be received by the
manner advertised or by a contingency plan under section 711(d)
(2) DUE TO AN INTERNET SERVICE OUTAGE OR OTHER TECHNOLOGICAL
FAILURE OF THE BOARD OR COUNCIL OF A POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OR OF
THE AUTHORITY CREATED BY A POLITICAL SUBDIVISION , official
action of a matter shall be postponed until the next advertised
meeting.
§ 711. Use of equipment during meetings.
* * *
(c) Local broadcast rules.--
(1) A board or council of a political subdivision or of
an authority created by a political subdivision may adopt
rules governing the broadcast of a meeting.
(2) A board or council EXCEPT AS PROVIDED UNDER
PARAGRAPH (3), A BOARD OR COUNCIL OF A POLITICAL SUBDIVISION
OR OF AN AUTHORITY CREATED BY A POLITICAL SUBDIVISION
broadcasting a meeting using an Internet website, mobile
application or social media platform shall broadcast the
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entire meeting except for an executive session.
(3) If a recording of a broadcast of a meeting is
available for public access after the meeting, no portion of
the broadcast may be omitted or muted from the recording . ,
EXCEPT TO EXCLUDE CONTENT THAT IS NOT PROTECTED BY THE FIRST
AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES, OR THAT
MAY EXPOSE THE BOARD OR COUNCIL TO LEGAL LIABILITY. THE
PUBLIC ACCESS TO THE RECORDING SHALL CONTAIN A NOTATION THAT
THE RECORDING HAS BEEN EDITED AND THE BOARD OR COUNCIL SHALL
RETAIN AN ARCHIVED COPY OF THE UNEDITED RECORDING FOR NO LESS
THAN ONE YEAR FOLLOWING THE DATE OF THE MEETING.
(d) Remote public comment.--
(1) The board or council of a political subdivision or
of an authority created by a political subdivision may adopt
rules permitting the acceptance of remote public comment by
the use of an authorized telecommunications device in
addition to public comment at the physical location of the
meeting under section 710.1 (relating to public
participation). . NOTHING IN THIS PARAGRAPH SHALL BE CONSTRUED
TO AUTHORIZE THE BOARD OR COUNCIL HOLDING A MEETING AT A
PHYSICAL LOCATION TO EXCLUDE PUBLIC PARTICIPATION UNDER
SECTION 710.1 AT THE PHYSICAL LOCATION OF THE MEETING.
(2) A rule under this subsection may include:
(i) A requirement that an individual seeking to
offer public comment must demonstrate that the individual
is entitled to offer public comment under section
710.1(a).
(ii) A process to allow an individual seeking to be
recognized for remote public comment to be placed on a
list or in a virtual queue.
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(iii) A contingency plan to allow remote public
comment to be received during a meeting by telephone
audible throughout the meeting location by amplification
only if:
(A) the advertised authorized telecommunications
device is unable to be utilized by the political
subdivision or authority during the meeting because
of an Internet service outage or other technological
failure impacting the device's operation at the
meeting location; and
(B) a notice placed on the posted meeting agenda
provides contact information for the telephone.
(3) Nothing in this section shall be construed to
authorize the acceptance of written comments through a social
media platform, email or web platform as a substitute for
public comment under section 710.1.
(4) NOTHING IN THIS SECTION SHALL BE CONSTRUED TO
REQUIRE A BOARD OR COUNCIL OF A POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OR OF
AN AUTHORITY CREATED BY A POLITICAL SUBDIVISION TO ACCEPT
REMOTE PUBLIC COMMENT AS PART OF THE LOCAL BROADCAST RULES
UNDER SUBSECTION (C).
Section 4 5. This act shall take effect in 60 days.
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