Abbott to Lift Open Meetings Law Suspensions Sept. 1posted on 7.12.2021
Gov. Greg Abbott’s office has approved a request by the Office of the Attorney General to lift the March 2020 pandemic-related suspension of certain provisions of the Texas Open Meetings Act.
The June 30 approval paves the way for the State of Texas to lift the suspensions of certain provisions of the Open Meetings Act, such as the requirement of a quorum to be in one location for an online meeting.
The suspensions will lift at 12:01 a.m. on Sept. 1, and all Texas governmental bodies subject to the state’s Open Meetings law must conduct their meetings in full compliance of the law as written.
Abbott’s original order also included some provisions which enabled the public to participate in online or telephonic meetings.
Despite those provisions in Abbott’s order, the public nonetheless, encountered difficulties in participating in remote meetings.
Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg, and Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, filed companion bills in the regular session, HB 2683 and SB 924, which addressed those problems.
The Texas House approved Canales’ bill on a unanimous 145-0 vote in late April, but TAB and other Open Government advocates saw the bill wither and die in the Senate.
Not only did HB 2683 not receive a Senate committee hearing, but it was also not even referred to a Senate committee by Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.
Stations with questions about the lifting of the suspensions are encouraged to contact the OAG directly at (888) 672-6787 or via email at TOMA@oag.texas.gov.
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