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Sobecki files bill to allow public bodies to meet remotely during states of emergency

March 16, 2020
Democrat Newsroom

State Rep. Lisa Sobecki (D-Toledo) today filed House Bill (HB) 557 to allow public bodies to meet and conduct business remotely during a state of emergency.

“In light of all the positive action that state and local leaders are doing to respond to the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak, this bill allows public bodies to meet and conduct business remotely in order to further slow the spread of pandemics,” said state Rep. Sobecki. “During this extraordinary crisis we are facing due to COVID-19, it is important that public officials have the option to practice prudent behavior by limiting in-person interactions in order to protect their own health, and the health of their communities, in which they have an insignificant public presence.”

HB 557 would allow public bodies to meet remotely only if the Governor has declared a state of emergency, and does not allow them to otherwise disregard Sunshine laws. It also contains an emergency clause that the bill would go into effect immediately if signed by the governor.