|Posted:||December 27, 2022 01:31 PM|
|From:||Representative Joe Ciresi|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Clarifying Remote Meeting Exception Applies to Boards and Commissions|
|During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic it became clear that some of the municipal codes made it difficult for governing bodies of municipalities to meet remotely. While the legislature took action to give municipalities more flexibility to conduct business in emergencies that make in-person meetings difficult, adding clarification to that new law would make it easier for our municipalities to continue serving the public in any future state of disaster 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 governing bodies of 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 would amend that language to clarify that the quorum provisions added to Title 35 Pa.C.S., Section 7501 (General authority of political subdivisions) contained in Act 15 of 2020 regarding remote meetings during a declaration of disaster or emergency apply to boards and commissions of political subdivisions. Providing this clarification would make it easier for all of our municipalities to continue to function and serve the public during challenging times.
Please join me in cosponsoring this important piece of legislation.
Prior Co-Sponsors (HB 79): CIRESI, HILL-EVANS, HANBIDGE, SANCHEZ, D. WILLIAMS, FREEMAN, GALLOWAY, WEBSTER and O'MARA
Introduced as HB117