Last week, we reported that two bills that would have amended the Open Meetings Act to expand the remote meeting procedures adopted during the pandemic were not approved in this legislative session. Since then, we have received some questions about when public bodies are required to go back to in-person meetings and the traditional procedures for remote meeting attendance. While only the Governor knows how long the COVID-19 disaster declaration will stay in place, we did see that Executive Order 2021-11 (issued on May 28, 2021) extended EO 2020-07 until June 26, 2021 – that was the EO that temporarily suspended the in-person meeting requirements of the OMA.
So, unless something changes before then, public bodies can continue to follow the new remote meeting requirements in the OMA for meetings that take place in June – at least until June 26th (unless the EO is further extended). Although the state is expected to enter Phase 5 this week, that does not necessarily mean that all restrictions will be lifted throughout the state, based on the Phase 5 guidance that has been circulated in advance of June 11th.