Local Governments Are Hard to Find as Coronavirus Ends Public Meetings

Communities across the country are finding themselves in a bind as they try to pass urgent legislation to combat the coronavirus pandemic at the same time public meetings are impossible. Open-government advocates say many city councils, school boards and other governing bodies are failing at the task, holding meetings that are inaccessible to the public, rushing actions…

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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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Lackawanna County, PA Sheriff: Cellphones permitted at public meetings held at county administration building

Those attending public meetings at the Lackawanna County Administration Building may bring and use their cellphones, Sheriff Mark McAndrew clarified Monday. Calling it an issue of safety and security, McAndrew unilaterally implemented policy earlier this year requiring all who enter the Administration Building — with exceptions for judges, employees, law enforcement officials and certain others…

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Vermont’s Condos: Social media discussions can be public meetings

The Vermont Secretary of State's Office says a quorum of public officials participating in social media like Facebook groups, Front Porch Forum or other online groups brings up open meeting law concerns.

The guidance on social media use was included in the office's annual update to the state open meeting law released last week.

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Poll: Utahns want legislative debate out in the open

Want to know how your legislator voted on Utah Access Plus, the proposal to expand health care to about 125,000 of Utah's poorest residents? Don't bother searching.

There was never an official recorded vote on the plan. In fact, the votes that doomed the health care bill were all taken in secret — with Republican House members voting in a closed-door meeting and GOP senators casting private votes after confidential discussions. 

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Florida A&M University will make hazing committee meet in public

From OnlineAthens:

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida A&M University trustees voted on Friday to change the mission once again of the school's anti-hazing committee and force it to meet publicly.

The 8-2 vote came after Gov. Rick Scott and others had criticized school officials for initially deciding earlier this month to allow the committee to sidestep Florida's "sunshine law."

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