Chapter 30A of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2018 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after section 20 the following 2 sections:-
Section 20A. (a) A state public body may allow remote participation by all members for any meeting of the public body. For the purposes of this section, the term remote participation means participation by an individual during a meeting of a public body where the individual is not physically present at the meeting location.
(b) Members remotely participating in a meeting may vote, shall be considered present and in attendance for all purposes, including for purposes of determining a quorum and for the purposes of section 23D of chapter 39.
(c) For any meeting of a state public body, the public body shall make provisions to ensure public access to the deliberations of the public body and remote participation in the meeting for interested members of the public through adequate, alternative means. Adequate, alternative means of public access and remote participation shall mean measures that provide transparency and permit timely and effective public access to, and remote participation in, the meeting. Said measures may include, without limitation, providing public access and remote participation through telephone, internet or satellite enabled audio and video conferencing or any other technology that enables the public to clearly follow and engage in the proceedings of the virtual meeting while those proceedings are occurring. Where allowance for active, real-time participation by members of the public is a specific requirement of a general or special law or regulation, or a charter, local ordinance or by-law, pursuant to which the proceeding is conducted, any alternative means of public access and remote participation shall provide for such participation.
A public body shall offer its selected alternative means of public access to, and remote participation in, virtual meetings without subscription, toll or similar charge to the public.
(d) A public body that elects to conduct its proceedings remotely shall ensure that any party entitled or required to appear before it may do so through remote means, as if the party were a member of the public body participating remotely.
Section 20B. All meetings of a state public body shall be recorded by video, with the recording posted on the website of the public body not later than 2 business days after the meeting ends.
Except in an emergency, any materials relevant to matters on the agenda of a meeting of a state public body, including but not limited to materials related to specific applications or agenda items, shall be submitted to the state public body not later than 48 hours prior to the meeting, excluding Saturdays, Sundays and legal holidays. Said materials shall be posted to the website of the public body for public inspection prior to, during and after the meeting. Materials posted on the website of the state public body, including meeting recordings, shall remain accessible to the public on the website for not less than 2 years.
The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only. The General Court provides this information as a public service and while we endeavor to keep the data accurate and current to the best of our ability, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.