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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: May 19, 2020 09:44 AM
From: Representative Carol Hill-Evans
To: All House members
Subject: Exception to Quorum Requirements for Municipality Meetings
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.  The Borough Code (Title 8) and the Third Class City Code (Title 11) specifically requires that a meeting of the governing body be at a “physical location” and thus created an obstacle for these municipalities to hold meetings remotely during this emergency.
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.
This legislation simply cross references this exception to the quorum requirements in the Borough code and Third Class City Code.  Please join me in updating our laws to include this specification for municipalities to hold remote meetings.

Introduced as HB2587