A bill backed by Sen. Brad Hoylman would allow public bodies like community boards and community education councils to conduct their meetings through teleconference and not through in-person meetings during declared emergencies.
The measure is meant to halt the spread of coronavirus in New York, while still allowing governing bodies to meet and conduct business.
“We can’t allow responsible public health precautions like self-quarantine and ‘social distancing’ to grind the work of open government to a halt," Hoylman said. "This legislation will allow public bodies to operate with transparency while avoiding unnecessary exposure to COVID-19."
The move would mean altering the state's open meetings law that require the public be present when a meeting is held.
The proposal would require public bodies during emergencies to provide justification for why a meeting is held through teleconference and alert the public when doing so.