California cities want transparency rules waived in pandemic

Citing unprecedented challenges created by the coronavirus pandemic, city officials across California are asking Gov. Gavin Newsom to suspend or delay numerous state laws, saying they’re unable to comply with everything from environmental regulations to public records laws that give people a window into how the government is spending public money. Noting that city resources…

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150 Organizations Sign Statement on Government Coronavirus Emergency Transparency

More than 150 organizations have signed a statement to state, tribal and local public institutions voicing concerns about transparency and access to meetings and records as these institutions respond to the Coronavirus emergency and continue their administrative deliberations. Organizations representing diverse constituencies and political ideologies have joined together to advise these governing bodies that real time…

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State Legislatures Scramble to Meet in the Age of Coronavirus

In Arkansas, lawmakers convened inside of a basketball arena, maintaining social distancing in the tiered rows of seating to cast in-person votes on emergency legislation. Ohio legislators voted from separate rooms, dressed in casual clothing after Senate leaders observed that business attire typically requires dry cleaning so is washed less frequently. In New York, senators passed a resolution permitting…

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In Pennsylvania, local governments still seeking guidance on open meetings rules amid coronavirus outbreak

A key Pennsylvania state senator says he’s not ready to push forward a House-passed bill that would codify what steps governmental bodies — from county commissions to local zoning boards — must follow to conduct business during the coronavirus outbreak. On Wednesday, the Pennsylvania House unanimously passed HB1564 to define how governments can comply with the Sunshine…

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