New Notice Requirements for Public Meetings Enacted
The Open Meetings Law requires public notice of a meeting to be given to the news media and conspicuously posted in one or more designated public locations. Earlier this month, the Governor signed a bill amending these notice requirements.
- The first change specifically authorizes the notice to be “electronically transmitted” to the news media. This amendment is likely of little consequence because many governmental bodies were already providing notice to the media electronically.
- The second change may have more impact. Whenever a public body will stream its meeting live over the internet, the public notice must now inform the public of the web address streaming the meeting.
The timing of the public notice and other requirements of the Open Meetings Law remain unchanged. For meetings scheduled more than a week in advance, the public notice must be given at least 72 hours before such meeting. For all other meetings, notice is only required to be given “at a reasonable time” prior to the meeting. When public bodies have the ability to do so, notice of the time and place of a meeting is also required to be conspicuously posted on the public body’s website. Although many public bodies make it their practice to provide public notice by actually publishing a legal notice, the Open Meetings Law does not require this.
If you have any questions about this amendment or other Open Meetings Law issues, please feel free to contact Peter Weishaar to schedule a consultation. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 585.512-3542. Mr. Weishaar represents several fire districts in the Greater Rochester Area. His municipal practice also includes the ongoing representation of planning and zoning boards, as well as the representation of municipalities as special counsel in litigation matters.
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