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Groups ask for guidance on conducting public meetings

Jul 30, 2021 5:30 am

Nick Reisman is reporting for State of Politics the COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on how public meetings in New York were conducted, making it possible for elected officials and members of the public to participate. As the state's emergency orders for the pandemic are ending, and concerns over the rising number of cases and the delta variant remain, good-government organizations are trying to find a way for public meetings to be held with both transparency and safety in mind. Led by Reinvent Albany, those groups called on the state's open government office this week to publish guidance on how public meetings should be conducted. And there are questions over how public bodies at the state and local level would provide accommodations for people with disabilities. The state Legislature, for instance, continued to meet through the crisis, though some lawmakers appeared remotely. A meeting of the Senate Ethics Committee earlier this month was postponed and rescheduled for August amid questions over whether lawmakers could attend remotely. "Ideally, the state will find a way to both resume in-person meetings and ensure remote access," the letter states. "...The Open Meetings Law strives for maximum transparency, and the end of the COVID-19 emergency must not result in diminished access for the public." Read the full story at nystateofpolitics [dot] com.

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