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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: May 19, 2020 09:44 AM
From: Representative Liz Hanbidge
To: All House members
Subject: Adding Public Participation Requirements
During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic it became clear that some of the municipal codes made it difficult for municipalities to meet remotely and to be sure that public participation requirements were being met.
Act 15 of 2020 amended Title 35 Pa.C.S. pertaining to municipal powers during a declared emergency or disaster to provide a mechanism and standards for municipalities to meet remotely only during the COVID-19 emergency.  The act also included a permanent change to Title 35 which provided that during a declared disaster or emergency a governing body does not need to be physically present at any one location in order to conduct business if a quorum is otherwise established by the participating members through an authorized telecommunication device.  The standards included provisions related to advance notice and public participation.
This amendment would permanently add provisions to Title 35 Pa.C.S., Section 7501 (General authority of political subdivisions) contained in Act 15 of 2020 regarding advance notice and public participation of remote meetings during a declaration of disaster or emergency by the Governor. 

Please join me in co-sponsoring this important amendment.  Thank you.

Introduced as HB2617