Legislative Public Meetings

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File #: 21-0130   
Type: Report to Council Status: Public Hearing/General Business
Meeting Body: City Council
On agenda: 4/20/2021
Title: Discussion and Possible Direction Regarding Taking a Position on Assembly Bill (AB) 703 (Rubio, Blanca D) - Open Meetings: Local Agencies: Teleconferences
Attachments: 1. California Assembly Bill 703: (Rubio, Blanca D) Open meetings: local agencies: teleconferences
REPORT TO COUNCIL

SUBJECT
Title
Discussion and Possible Direction Regarding Taking a Position on Assembly Bill (AB) 703 (Rubio, Blanca D) - Open Meetings: Local Agencies: Teleconferences

Report
BACKGROUND
At their April 6, 2021 meeting, Council directed staff to add this report to the April 20, 2021 Council agenda to discuss whether the City should take a position on Assembly Bill (AB) 703 (Rubio, Blanca D) - Open Meetings: Local Agencies: Teleconferences.

On March 17, 2020, Gov. Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order No. N-29-20, which suspended portions of the Ralph M. Brown Act (California Government Code sections 54950-54963) that limit the use of teleconferencing for public meetings, but the Order will sunset when the COVID-19 pandemic ends. The Ralph M. Brown Act requires that all teleconference locations (i.e., the physical location that a council or board member call in from) be identified on the agenda and open to the public.

On February 16, 2021, Assembly Member Blanca Rubio introduced legislation that would codify the Executive Order's virtual meeting opportunities. It allows for virtual meetings indefinitely and permanently removes the existing Brown Act rules limiting virtual meetings or requiring public attendance at various physical locations.

On February 25, 2021, the Bill was referred to the Assembly Committee on Local Government. A Bill hearing date has not been scheduled.

In the past, Council has taken positions on specific legislation. Although staff does not make a recommendation on whether or not the Council should take a position on this topic, it does urge Council to establish a long-term policy rather than specifically endorse a certain measure. That approach will enable Council and staff to perform advocacy in the future without having to return to Council for specific approval.

EXISTING POLICY
California Government Code sections 54950-54963 (Ralph M. Brown Act)
Council Policy 7.4.14, Legislative Advocacy Positions
Policy 7.3.1, Le...

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