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AB-2958 State bodies: meetings: teleconference.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 09/28/2018 09:00 PM
AB2958:v92#DOCUMENT

Assembly Bill No. 2958
CHAPTER 881

An act to add Section 11123.5 to the Government Code, relating to state government.

[ Approved by Governor  September 28, 2018. Filed with Secretary of State  September 28, 2018. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2958, Quirk. State bodies: meetings: teleconference.
Existing law, the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act, requires, with specified exceptions, that all meetings of a state body, as defined, be open and public, and all persons be permitted to attend any meeting of a state body, except as provided. Existing law does not prohibit a state body from holding an open or closed meeting by teleconference for the benefit of the public and state body. Existing law, among other things, requires a state body that elects to conduct a meeting or proceeding by teleconference to post agendas at all teleconference locations, to identify each teleconference location in the notice and agenda, and to make each teleconference location accessible to the public. Existing law requires the agenda to provide an opportunity for members of the public to address the state body directly at each teleconference location, as specified.
This bill, for a state body that is an advisory board, advisory commission, advisory committee, advisory subcommittee, or similar multimember advisory body, would authorize an additional way of holding a meeting by teleconference, as prescribed, provided it also complies with all other applicable requirements of the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act. In this context, the bill would require a member of a state body participating by teleconference to be listed in the meeting minutes and that notice, as specified, identifying that member to be provided to the public at least 24 hours before the meeting. The bill would require a state body to designate a primary physical meeting location on that notice where members of the public may attend the meeting and participate, to include that information in the agenda of the meeting, and to post the agenda at the primary physical meeting location. The bill would require a quorum of the body’s members to be present at the primary physical meeting location and that decisions during the teleconference meeting be made by rollcall vote. The bill would require the state body, if a member participates remotely, to provide the public a way to hear the meeting or to observe it and to provide public notice, as specified, of how this would be done. Upon discovering that a means of remote access has failed during a meeting, the bill would require the body to end or adjourn the meeting, as specified, and would prescribe certain notice requirements and procedures in this connection.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 11123.5 is added to the Government Code, to read:

11123.5.
 (a) In addition to the authorization to hold a meeting by teleconference pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 11123, any state body that is an advisory board, advisory commission, advisory committee, advisory subcommittee, or similar multimember advisory body may hold an open meeting by teleconference as described in this section, provided the meeting complies with all of the section’s requirements and, except as set forth in this section, it also complies with all other applicable requirements of this article.
(b) A member of a state body as described in subdivision (a) who participates in a teleconference meeting from a remote location subject to this section’s requirements shall be listed in the minutes of the meeting.
(c) The state body shall provide notice to the public at least 24 hours before the meeting that identifies any member who will participate remotely by posting the notice on its Internet Web site and by emailing notice to any person who has requested notice of meetings of the state body under this article. The location of a member of a state body who will participate remotely is not required to be disclosed in the public notice or email and need not be accessible to the public. The notice of the meeting shall also identify the primary physical meeting location designated pursuant to subdivision (e).
(d) This section does not affect the requirement prescribed by this article that the state body post an agenda of a meeting at least 10 days in advance of the meeting. The agenda shall include information regarding the physical meeting location designated pursuant to subdivision (e), but is not required to disclose information regarding any remote location.
(e) A state body described in subdivision (a) shall designate the primary physical meeting location in the notice of the meeting where members of the public may physically attend the meeting and participate. A quorum of the members of the state body shall be in attendance at the primary physical meeting location, and members of the state body participating remotely shall not count towards establishing a quorum. All decisions taken during a meeting by teleconference shall be by rollcall vote. The state body shall post the agenda at the primary physical meeting location, but need not post the agenda at a remote location.
(f) When a member of a state body described in subdivision (a) participates remotely in a meeting subject to this section’s requirements, the state body shall provide a means by which the public may remotely hear audio of the meeting or remotely observe the meeting, including, if available, equal access equivalent to members of the state body participating remotely. The applicable teleconference phone number or Internet Web site, or other information indicating how the public can access the meeting remotely, shall be in the 24-hour notice described in subdivision (a) that is available to the public.
(g) Upon discovering that a means of remote access required by subdivision (f) has failed during a meeting, the state body described in subdivision (a) shall end or adjourn the meeting in accordance with Section 11128.5. In addition to any other requirements that may apply, the state body shall provide notice of the meeting’s end or adjournment on its Internet Web site and by email to any person who has requested notice of meetings of the state body under this article. If the meeting will be adjourned and reconvened on the same day, further notice shall be provided by an automated message on a telephone line posted on the state body’s agenda, or by a similar means, that will communicate when the state body intends to reconvene the meeting and how a member of the public may hear audio of the meeting or observe the meeting.
(h) For purposes of this section:
(1) “Participate remotely” means participation in a meeting at a location other than the physical location designated in the agenda of the meeting.
(2) “Remote location” means a location other than the primary physical location designated in the agenda of a meeting.
(3) “Teleconference” has the same meaning as in Section 11123.
(i) This section does not limit or affect the ability of a state body to hold a teleconference meeting under another provision of this article.