Bill Text For SB1031 - Enrolled

ENROLLED SENATE

BILL NO. 1031                       By: Treat of the Senate

 

                                               and

 

                                        Echols, Fugate, Waldron, Cruz, Virgin, Ranson, Provenzano, Bennett, Nichols, Goodwin, Brewer, Blancett, Phillips and Strom of the House

 

 

 

 

An Act relating to the Oklahoma Open Meeting Act; amending 25 O.S. 2011, Sections 307.1 and 311, as last amended by Sections 3 and 4, Chapter 3, O.S.L. 2020 (25 O.S Supp. 2020, Sections 307.1 and 311), which relate to videoconferences and teleconferences and notice; reinstating certain temporary provisions; specifying expiration date of temporary provisions; requiring publication of certain documents or materials; prohibiting modification of method of public meeting under certain circumstances; and declaring an emergency.

 

 

 

 

 

SUBJECT:  Oklahoma Open Meeting Act

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA:

 

SECTION 1.     AMENDATORY     25 O.S. 2011, Section 307.1, as last amended by Section 3, Chapter 3, O.S.L. 2020 (25 O.S. Supp. 2020, Section 307.1), is amended to read as follows:

 

Section 307.1.  A.  Except as provided in subsections C and D of this section, a public body may hold meetings by videoconference where each member of the public body is visible and audible to each other and the public through a video monitor, subject to the following:

 

1.   a.   except as provided for in subparagraph b of this paragraph, no less than a quorum of the public body shall be present in person at the meeting site as posted on the meeting notice and agenda,

 

b.   a virtual charter school approved and sponsored by the Statewide Virtual Charter School Board pursuant to the provisions of Section 3-145.3 of Title 70 of the Oklahoma Statutes shall maintain a quorum of members for the entire duration of the meeting whether using an in-person site, videoconference sites or any combination of such sites to achieve a quorum; and

 

c.   each public meeting held by videoconference or teleconference shall be recorded either by written, electronic, or other means;

 

2.  The meeting notice and agenda prepared in advance of the meeting, as required by law, shall indicate if the meeting will include videoconferencing locations and shall state:

 

a.   the location, address, and telephone number of each available videoconference site, and

 

b.   the identity of each member of the public body and the specific site from which each member of the body shall be physically present and participating in the meeting;

 

3.  After the meeting notice and agenda are prepared and posted, as required by law, no member of the public body shall be allowed to participate in the meeting from any location other than the specific location posted on the agenda in advance of the meeting;

 

4.  In order to allow the public the maximum opportunity to attend and observe each public official carrying out the duties of the public official, a member or members of a public body desiring to participate in a meeting by videoconference shall participate in the videoconference from a site and room located within the district or political subdivision from which they are elected, appointed, or are sworn to represent;

 

5.  Each site and room where a member of the public body is present for a meeting by videoconference shall be open and accessible to the public, and the public shall be allowed into that site and room.  Public bodies may provide additional videoconference sites as a convenience to the public, but additional sites shall not be used to exclude or discourage public attendance at any videoconference site;

 

6.  The public shall be allowed to participate and speak, as allowed by rule or policy set by the public body, in a meeting at the videoconference site in the same manner and to the same extent as the public is allowed to participate or speak at the site of the meeting;

 

7.  Any materials shared electronically between members of the public body, before or during the videoconference, shall also be immediately available to the public in the same form and manner as shared with members of the public body; and

 

8.  All votes occurring during any meeting conducted using videoconferencing shall occur and be recorded by roll call vote.

 

B.  No public body shall conduct an executive session by videoconference.

 

C.  Upon the effective date of this act and until November 15, 2020 February 15, 2022, or until thirty (30) days after the Governor declaring the expiration or termination of the state of emergency to be terminated declared by the Governor to respond to the threat of COVID-19 to the people of this state and the public’s peace, health and safety, whichever date first occurs, the provisions of this subsection and subsection D shall operate as law in this state.

 

1.  A public body may hold meetings by teleconference or videoconference if each member of the public body is audible or visible to each other and the public, subject to the following:

 

a.   for a virtual charter school approved and sponsored by the Statewide Virtual Charter School Board pursuant to the provisions of the Oklahoma Statutes, the public body shall maintain a quorum of members for the entire duration of the meeting whether using an in-person site, teleconference, or videoconference or any combination of such sites to achieve a quorum, and

 

b.   if the meeting is held using either teleconference or videoconference capabilities, and at any time the audio connection is disconnected, the meeting shall be stopped and reconvened once the audio connection is restored;

 

2.  The meeting notice and agenda prepared in advance of the meeting, as required by law, shall indicate if the meeting will include teleconferencing or videoconferencing and shall also state:

 

a.   each public body member appearing remotely and the method of each member’s remote appearance, and

 

b.   the identity of the public body member or members who will be physically present at the meeting site, if any;

 

3.  After the meeting notice and agenda are prepared and posted as required by law, public body members shall not be permitted to alter their method of attendance; provided, however, those members who were identified as appearing remotely may be permitted to physically appear at the meeting site, if any, for the meeting;

 

4.  The public body shall be allowed to participate and speak, as allowed by rule or policy set by the public body, in a meeting which utilizes teleconference or videoconference in the same manner and to the same extent as the public is allowed to participate or speak during a meeting where all public body members are physically present together at the meeting site;

 

5.  Any documents or other materials provided to members of the public body or shared electronically between members of the public body during a meeting utilizing teleconferencing or videoconferencing shall also be immediately available to the public in the same form as shared with the members on the website of the public body, if the public body maintains a website; and

 

6.  All votes occurring during any meeting utilizing teleconference or videoconference shall occur and be recorded by roll call votes.

 

D.  Public bodies are permitted to conduct an executive session by teleconference or videoconference.  For such executive sessions, no public body member is required to be physically present so long as each public body member is audible or visible to each other.  The meeting notice and agenda prepared in advance of the meeting as required by law shall indicate if the executive session will include teleconferencing or videoconferencing and shall also state the identity of each public body member appearing remotely, the method of each member’s remote appearance, and whether any member will be physically present at the meeting site, if any, for the executive session.

 

SECTION 2.     AMENDATORY     25 O.S. 2011, Section 311, as last amended by Section 4, Chapter 3, O.S.L. 2020 (25 O.S. Supp. 2020, Section 311), is amended to read as follows:

 

Section 311.  A.  Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, all regularly scheduled, continued or reconvened, special or emergency meetings of public bodies shall be preceded by public notice as follows:

 

1.  All public bodies shall give notice in writing by December 15 of each calendar year of the schedule showing the date, time and place of the regularly scheduled meetings of such public bodies for the following calendar year;

 

2.  All state public bodies, including, but not limited to, public trusts and other bodies with the state as beneficiary, shall give such notice to the Secretary of State;

 

3.  All county public bodies including, but not limited to, public trusts and any other bodies with the county as beneficiary, shall give such notice to the county clerk of the county wherein they are principally located;

 

4.  All municipal public bodies, including, but not limited to, public trusts and any other bodies with the municipality as beneficiary, shall give such notice to the municipal clerk of the municipality wherein they are principally located;

 

5.  All multicounty, regional, areawide or district public bodies including, but not limited to, district boards of education, shall give such notice to the county clerk of the county wherein they are principally located, or if no office exists, to the county clerk of the county or counties served by such public body;

 

6.  All governing boards of state institutions of higher education, and committees and subcommittees thereof, shall give such notice to the Secretary of State.  All other public bodies covered by the provisions of the Oklahoma Open Meeting Act which exist under the auspices of a state institution of higher education, but a majority of whose members are not members of the institution’s governing board, shall give such notice to the county clerk of the county wherein the institution is principally located;

 

7.  The Secretary of State and each county clerk or municipal clerk shall keep a record of all notices received in a register open to the public for inspection during regular office hours, and, in addition, shall make known upon any request of any person the contents of the register;

 

8.  If any change is to be made of the date, time or place of regularly scheduled meetings of public bodies, then notice in writing shall be given to the Secretary of State or county clerk or municipal clerk, as required herein, not less than ten (10) days prior to the implementation of any such change;

 

9.  In addition to the advance public notice in writing required to be filed for regularly scheduled meetings, described in paragraph 1 of this subsection, all public bodies shall, at least twenty-four (24) hours prior to such regularly scheduled meetings, display public notice of the meeting by at least one of the following methods:

 

a.   by posting information that includes date, time, place and agenda for the meeting in prominent public view at the principal office of the public body or at the location of the meeting if no office exists, or

 

b.   by posting on the public body’s Internet website the date, time, place and agenda for the meeting in accordance with Section 3106.2 of Title 74 of the Oklahoma Statutes.  Additionally, the public body shall offer and consistently maintain an email distribution system for distribution of such notice of a public meeting required by this subsection, and any person may request to be included without charge, and their request shall be accepted.  The emailed notice of a public meeting required by this subsection shall include in the body of the email or as an attachment to the email the date, time, place and agenda for the meeting and it shall be sent no less than twenty-four (24) hours prior to the meeting.  Additionally, except as provided in subparagraph c of this paragraph, the public body shall make the notice of a public meeting required by this subsection available to the public in the principal office of the public body or at the location of the meeting during normal business hours at least twenty–four (24) hours prior to the meeting, or

 

c.   upon the effective date of this act and until November 15, 2020 February 15, 2022, or until thirty (30) days after the Governor declaring the expiration or termination of the state of emergency to be terminated declared by the Governor to respond to the threat of COVID-19 to the people of this state and the public’s peace, health and safety, whichever date first occurs, the public body shall not be required to make the notice of a public meeting available to the public in the principal office of the public body or at the location of the meeting during normal business hours at least twenty-four (24) hours prior to the meeting;

 

10.  The twenty-four (24) hours required in paragraph 9 of this subsection shall exclude Saturdays, Sundays and holidays legally declared by the State of Oklahoma.  The posting or distribution of a notice of a public meeting as described in paragraph 9 of this subsection shall not preclude a public body from considering at its regularly scheduled meeting any new business.  “New business”, as used herein, shall mean any matter not known about or which could not have been reasonably foreseen prior to the time of the posting;

 

11.  In the event any meeting is to be continued or reconvened, public notice of such action including date, time and place of the continued meeting, shall be given by announcement at the original meeting.  Only matters appearing on the agenda of the meeting which is continued may be discussed at the continued or reconvened meeting;

 

12.  Special meetings of public bodies shall not be held without public notice being given at least forty-eight (48) hours prior to the meetings.  Such public notice of date, time and place shall be given in writing, in person or by telephonic means to the Secretary of State or to the county clerk or to the municipal clerk by public bodies in the manner set forth in paragraphs 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of this subsection.  The public body also shall cause written notice of the date, time and place of the meeting to be mailed or delivered to each person, newspaper, wire service, radio station and television station that has filed a written request for notice of meetings of the public body with the clerk or secretary of the public body or with some other person designated by the public body.  Such written notice shall be mailed or delivered at least forty-eight (48) hours prior to the special meeting.  The public body may charge a fee of up to Eighteen Dollars ($18.00) per year to persons or entities filing a written request for notice of meetings, and may require such persons or entities to renew the request for notice annually.  In addition, all public bodies shall, at least twenty-four (24) hours prior to such special meetings, display public notice of the meeting, setting forth thereon the date, time, place and agenda for the meeting.  Only matters appearing on the posted agenda may be considered at the special meeting.  Such public notice shall be posted in prominent public view at the principal office of the public body or at the location of the meeting if no office exists.  Twenty-four (24) hours prior public posting shall exclude Saturdays, Sundays and holidays legally declared by the State of Oklahoma.  In lieu of the public posting requirements of this paragraph, a public body may elect to follow the requirements found in subparagraph b of paragraph 9 of this subsection, provided that forty-eight-hour notice is required for special meetings and that the forty-eight-hour requirement shall exclude Saturdays, Sundays and holidays legally declared by the State of Oklahoma; and

 

13.  In the event of an emergency, an emergency meeting of a public body may be held without the public notice heretofore required.  Should an emergency meeting of a public body be necessary, the person calling such a meeting shall give as much advance public notice as is reasonable and possible under the circumstances existing, in person or by telephonic or electronic means; and

 

14.  A public body that gives public notice of a meeting for which there will be a videoconference option in accordance with Section 307.1 of this title shall not modify the method of meeting described in the notice prior to the meeting and shall conduct the meeting according to the methods described in the notice.  If a code or password is required to access the videoconference meeting, the code or password shall be included in the public notice.

 

B.  1.  All agendas required pursuant to the provisions of this section shall identify all items of business to be transacted by a public body at a meeting including, but not limited to, any proposed executive session for the purpose of engaging in deliberations or rendering a final or intermediate decision in an individual proceeding prescribed by the Administrative Procedures Act.

 

2.  If a public body proposes to conduct an executive session, the agenda shall:

 

a.   contain sufficient information for the public to ascertain that an executive session will be proposed,

 

b.   identify the items of business and purposes of the executive session, and

 

c.   state specifically the provision of Section 307 of this title authorizing the executive session.

 

SECTION 3.  It being immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health or safety, an emergency is hereby declared to exist, by reason whereof this act shall take effect and be in full force from and after its passage and approval.

 

Passed the Senate the 3rd day of February, 2021.

 

 

                             

                                   Presiding Officer of the Senate

 

 

Passed the House of Representatives the 8th day of February, 2021.

 

 

                            

                                    Presiding Officer of the House

                                               of Representatives

 

OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR

Received by the Office of the Governor this ____________________ day of ___________________, 20_______, at _______ o'clock _______ M.

By: _________________________________

Approved by the Governor of the State of Oklahoma this _________ day of ___________________, 20_______, at _______ o'clock _______ M.

 

                                  _________________________________

                                  Governor of the State of Oklahoma

 

 

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE

Received by the Office of the Secretary of State this __________ day of __________________, 20 _______, at _______ o'clock _______ M.

By: _________________________________

© 2010-21 eCapitol, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

As provided by this agreement access to bill tracking / capitol news services is restricted to the registered User. The User shall have no right to divulge, publish, loan, give or sell any of the information provided under this agreement. Information retrieved from system may not be reproduced, transmitted, transcribed, stored in a retrieval system or translated into any language in any form by any means without the written permission of eCapitol, LLC. All other rights reserved. If a person uses a copyrighted work without permission of the rights holder, he or she is open to a charge of copyright infringement. Additional terms and conditions governing the access to and use of eCapitol website and the services and materials provided by eCapitol are set forth in the eCapitol Subscriber Agreement posted on the eCapitol website.