Today's Law As Amended


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AB-361 Open meetings: state and local agencies: teleconferences.(2021-2022)



As Amends the Law Today
As Amends the Law on Sep 17, 2021


SECTION 1.

 Section 89305.6 is added to the Education Code, to read:

89305.6.
 (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this article, and subject to the notice and accessibility requirements in subdivisions (d) and (e), a legislative body may hold public meetings through teleconferencing and make public meetings accessible telephonically, or otherwise electronically, to all members of the public seeking to observe and to address the legislative body.
(b) (1) For a legislative body holding a public meeting through teleconferencing pursuant to this section, all requirements in this article requiring the physical presence of members, the clerk or other personnel of the legislative body, or the public, as a condition of participation in or quorum for a public meeting, are hereby suspended.
(2) For a legislative body holding a public meeting through teleconferencing pursuant to this section, all of the following requirements in this article are suspended:
(A) Each teleconference location from which a member will be participating in a public meeting or proceeding be identified in the notice and agenda of the public meeting or proceeding.
(B) Each teleconference location be accessible to the public.
(C) Members of the public may address the legislative body at each teleconference conference location.
(D) Post agendas at all teleconference locations.
(E) At least one member of the legislative body be physically present at the location specified in the notice of the meeting.
(c) A legislative body that holds a meeting through teleconferencing and allows members of the public to observe and address the meeting telephonically or otherwise electronically, consistent with the notice and accessibility requirements in subdivisions (d) and (e), shall have satisfied any requirement that the legislative body allow members of the public to attend the meeting and offer public comment. A legislative body need not make available any physical location from which members of the public may observe the meeting and offer public comment.
(d) If a legislative body holds a meeting through teleconferencing pursuant to this section and allows members of the public to observe and address the meeting telephonically or otherwise electronically, the legislative body shall also do both of the following:
(1) Implement a procedure for receiving and swiftly resolving requests for reasonable modification or accommodation from individuals with disabilities, consistent with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 12101 et seq.), and resolving any doubt whatsoever in favor of accessibility.
(2) Advertise that procedure each time notice is given of the means by which members of the public may observe the meeting and offer public comment, pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (e).
(e) Except to the extent this section provides otherwise, each legislative body that holds a meeting through teleconferencing pursuant to this section shall do both of the following:
(1) Give advance notice of the time of, and post the agenda for, each public meeting according to the timeframes otherwise prescribed by this article, and using the means otherwise prescribed by this article, as applicable.
(2) In each instance in which notice of the time of the meeting is otherwise given or the agenda for the meeting is otherwise posted, also give notice of the means by which members of the public may observe the meeting and offer public comment. As to any instance in which there is a change in the means of public observation and comment, or any instance prior to the effective date of this section in which the time of the meeting has been noticed or the agenda for the meeting has been posted without also including notice of the means of public observation and comment, a legislative body may satisfy this requirement by advertising the means of public observation and comment using the most rapid means of communication available at the time. Advertising the means of public observation and comment using the most rapid means of communication available at the time shall include, but need not be limited to, posting such means on the legislative body’s internet website.
(f) All legislative bodies utilizing the teleconferencing procedures in this section are urged to use sound discretion and to make reasonable efforts to adhere as closely as reasonably possible to the otherwise applicable provisions of this article, in order to maximize transparency and provide the public access to legislative body meetings.
(g) This section shall remain in effect only until January 31, 2022, and as of that date is repealed.

SEC. 2.

 Section 11133 is added to the Government Code, to read:

11133.
 (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of this article, and subject to the notice and accessibility requirements in subdivisions (d) and (e), a state body may hold public meetings through teleconferencing and make public meetings accessible telephonically, or otherwise electronically, to all members of the public seeking to observe and to address the state body.
(b) (1) For a state body holding a public meeting through teleconferencing pursuant to this section, all requirements in this article requiring the physical presence of members, the clerk or other personnel of the state body, or the public, as a condition of participation in or quorum for a public meeting, are hereby suspended.
(2) For a state body holding a public meeting through teleconferencing pursuant to this section, all of the following requirements in this article are suspended:
(A) Each teleconference location from which a member will be participating in a public meeting or proceeding be identified in the notice and agenda of the public meeting or proceeding.
(B) Each teleconference location be accessible to the public.
(C) Members of the public may address the state body at each teleconference conference location.
(D) Post agendas at all teleconference locations.
(E) At least one member of the state body be physically present at the location specified in the notice of the meeting.
(c) A state body that holds a meeting through teleconferencing and allows members of the public to observe and address the meeting telephonically or otherwise electronically, consistent with the notice and accessibility requirements in subdivisions (d) and (e), shall have satisfied any requirement that the state body allow members of the public to attend the meeting and offer public comment. A state body need not make available any physical location from which members of the public may observe the meeting and offer public comment.
(d) If a state body holds a meeting through teleconferencing pursuant to this section and allows members of the public to observe and address the meeting telephonically or otherwise electronically, the state body shall also do both of the following:
(1) Implement a procedure for receiving and swiftly resolving requests for reasonable modification or accommodation from individuals with disabilities, consistent with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. Sec. 12101 et seq.), and resolving any doubt whatsoever in favor of accessibility.
(2) Advertise that procedure each time notice is given of the means by which members of the public may observe the meeting and offer public comment, pursuant to paragraph (2) of subdivision (e).
(e) Except to the extent this section provides otherwise, each state body that holds a meeting through teleconferencing pursuant to this section shall do both of the following:
(1) Give advance notice of the time of, and post the agenda for, each public meeting according to the timeframes otherwise prescribed by this article, and using the means otherwise prescribed by this article, as applicable.
(2) In each instance in which notice of the time of the meeting is otherwise given or the agenda for the meeting is otherwise posted, also give notice of the means by which members of the public may observe the meeting and offer public comment. As to any instance in which there is a change in the means of public observation and comment, or any instance prior to the effective date of this section in which the time of the meeting has been noticed or the agenda for the meeting has been posted without also including notice of the means of public observation and comment, a state body may satisfy this requirement by advertising the means of public observation and comment using the most rapid means of communication available at the time. Advertising the means of public observation and comment using the most rapid means of communication available at the time shall include, but need not be limited to, posting such means on the state body’s internet website.
(f) All state bodies utilizing the teleconferencing procedures in this section are urged to use sound discretion and to make reasonable efforts to adhere as closely as reasonably possible to the otherwise applicable provisions of this article, in order to maximize transparency and provide the public access to state body meetings.
(g) This section shall remain in effect only until January 31, 2022, and as of that date is repealed.

SEC. 3.

 Section 54953 of the Government Code is amended to read:

54953.
 (a) All meetings of the legislative body of a local agency shall be open and public, and all persons shall be permitted to attend any meeting of the legislative body of a local agency, except as otherwise provided in this chapter.
(b) (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the legislative body of a local agency may use teleconferencing for the benefit of the public and the legislative body of a local agency in connection with any meeting or proceeding authorized by law. The teleconferenced meeting or proceeding shall comply with all otherwise applicable requirements of this chapter and all otherwise applicable provisions of law relating to a specific type of meeting or proceeding.
(2) Teleconferencing, as authorized by this section, may be used for all purposes in connection with any meeting within the subject matter jurisdiction of the legislative body. All votes taken during a teleconferenced meeting shall be by rollcall.
(3) If the legislative body of a local agency elects to use teleconferencing, it shall post agendas at all teleconference locations and conduct teleconference meetings in a manner that protects the statutory and constitutional rights of the parties or the public appearing before the legislative body of a local agency. Each teleconference location shall be identified in the notice and agenda of the meeting or proceeding, and each teleconference location shall be accessible to the public. During the teleconference, at least a quorum of the members of the legislative body shall participate from locations within the boundaries of the territory over which the local agency exercises jurisdiction, except as provided in subdivisions (d) and (e). The agenda shall provide an opportunity for members of the public to address the legislative body directly pursuant to Section 54954.3 at each teleconference location.
(4) For the purposes of this section, “teleconference” means a meeting of a legislative body, the members of which are in different locations, connected by electronic means, through either audio or video, or both. Nothing in this section shall prohibit a local agency from providing the public with additional teleconference locations.
(c) (1) No legislative body shall take action by secret ballot, whether preliminary or final.
(2) The legislative body of a local agency shall publicly report any action taken and the vote or abstention on that action of each member present for the action.
(3) Prior to taking final action, the legislative body shall orally report a summary of a recommendation for a final action on the salaries, salary schedules, or compensation paid in the form of fringe benefits of a local agency executive, as defined in subdivision (d) of Section 3511.1, during the open meeting in which the final action is to be taken. This paragraph shall not affect the public’s right under the California Public Records Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 6250) of Division 7 of Title 1) to inspect or copy records created or received in the process of developing the recommendation.
(d) (1) Notwithstanding the provisions relating to a quorum in paragraph (3) of subdivision (b), if a health authority conducts a teleconference meeting, members who are outside the jurisdiction of the authority may be counted toward the establishment of a quorum when participating in the teleconference if at least 50 percent of the number of members that would establish a quorum are present within the boundaries of the territory over which the authority exercises jurisdiction, and the health authority provides a teleconference number, and associated access codes, if any, that allows any person to call in to participate in the meeting and the number and access codes are identified in the notice and agenda of the meeting.
(2) Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed as discouraging health authority members from regularly meeting at a common physical site within the jurisdiction of the authority or from using teleconference locations within or near the jurisdiction of the authority. A teleconference meeting for which a quorum is established pursuant to this subdivision shall be subject to all other requirements of this section.
(3) For purposes of this subdivision, a health authority means any entity created pursuant to Sections 14018.7, 14087.31, 14087.35, 14087.36, 14087.38, and 14087.9605 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, any joint powers authority created pursuant to Article 1 (commencing with Section 6500) of Chapter 5 of Division 7 for the purpose of contracting pursuant to Section 14087.3 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, and any advisory committee to a county-sponsored health plan licensed pursuant to Chapter 2.2 (commencing with Section 1340) of Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code if the advisory committee has 12 or more members.
(e) (1) A local agency may use teleconferencing without complying with the requirements of paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) if the legislative body complies with the requirements of paragraph (2) of this subdivision in any of the following circumstances:
(A) The legislative body holds a meeting during a proclaimed state of emergency, and state or local officials have imposed or recommended measures to promote social distancing.
(B) The legislative body holds a meeting during a proclaimed state of emergency for the purpose of determining, by majority vote, whether as a result of the emergency, meeting in person would present imminent risks to the health or safety of attendees.
(C) The legislative body holds a meeting during a proclaimed state of emergency and has determined, by majority vote, pursuant to subparagraph (B), that, as a result of the emergency, meeting in person would present imminent risks to the health or safety of attendees.
(2) A legislative body that holds a meeting pursuant to this subdivision shall do all of the following:
(A) The legislative body shall give notice of the meeting and post agendas as otherwise required by this chapter.
(B) The legislative body shall allow members of the public to access the meeting and the agenda shall provide an opportunity for members of the public to address the legislative body directly pursuant to Section 54954.3. In each instance in which notice of the time of the teleconferenced meeting is otherwise given or the agenda for the meeting is otherwise posted, the legislative body shall also give notice of the means by which members of the public may access the meeting and offer public comment. The agenda shall identify and include an opportunity for all persons to attend via a call-in option or an internet-based service option. This subparagraph shall not be construed to require the legislative body to provide a physical location from which the public may attend or comment.
(C) The legislative body shall conduct teleconference meetings in a manner that protects the statutory and constitutional rights of the parties and the public appearing before the legislative body of a local agency.
(D) In the event of a disruption which prevents the public agency from broadcasting the meeting to members of the public using the call-in option or internet-based service option, or in the event of a disruption within the local agency’s control which prevents members of the public from offering public comments using the call-in option or internet-based service option, the body shall take no further action on items appearing on the meeting agenda until public access to the meeting via the call-in option or internet-based service option is restored. Actions taken on agenda items during a disruption which prevents the public agency from broadcasting the meeting may be challenged pursuant to Section 54960.1.
(E) The legislative body shall not require public comments to be submitted in advance of the meeting and must provide an opportunity for the public to address the legislative body and offer comment in real time. This subparagraph shall not be construed to require the legislative body to provide a physical location from which the public may attend or comment.
(F) Notwithstanding Section 54953.3, an individual desiring to provide public comment through the use of an internet website, or other online platform, not under the control of the local legislative body, that requires registration to log in to a teleconference may be required to register as required by the third-party internet website or online platform to participate.
(G) (i) A legislative body that provides a timed public comment period for each agenda item shall not close the public comment period for the agenda item, or the opportunity to register, pursuant to subparagraph (F), to provide public comment until that timed public comment period has elapsed.
(ii) A legislative body that does not provide a timed public comment period, but takes public comment separately on each agenda item, shall allow a reasonable amount of time per agenda item to allow public members the opportunity to provide public comment, including time for members of the public to register pursuant to subparagraph (F), or otherwise be recognized for the purpose of providing public comment.
(iii) A legislative body that provides a timed general public comment period that does not correspond to a specific agenda item shall not close the public comment period or the opportunity to register, pursuant to subparagraph (F), until the timed general public comment period has elapsed.
(3) If a state of emergency remains active, or state or local officials have imposed or recommended measures to promote social distancing, in order to continue to teleconference without compliance with paragraph (3) of subdivision (b), the legislative body shall, not later than 30 days after teleconferencing for the first time pursuant to subparagraph (A), (B), or (C) of paragraph (1), and every 30 days thereafter, make the following findings by majority vote:
(A) The legislative body has reconsidered the circumstances of the state of emergency.
(B) Any of the following circumstances exist:
(i) The state of emergency continues to directly impact the ability of the members to meet safely in person.
(ii) State or local officials continue to impose or recommend measures to promote social distancing.
(4) For the purposes of this subdivision, “state of emergency” means a state of emergency proclaimed pursuant to Section 8625 of the California Emergency Services Act (Article 1 (commencing with Section 8550) of Chapter 7 of Division 1 of Title 2).
(f) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2024, and as of that date is repealed.

SEC. 3.1.

 Section 54953 of the Government Code is amended to read:

54953.
 (a) All meetings of the legislative body of a local agency shall be open and public, and all persons shall be permitted to attend any meeting of the legislative body of a local agency,  agency in person,  except as otherwise provided in this chapter. Local agencies shall conduct meetings subject to this chapter consistent with applicable state and federal civil rights laws, including, but not limited to, any applicable language access and other nondiscrimination obligations. 
(b) (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the legislative body of a local agency may use teleconferencing for the benefit of the public and the legislative body of a local agency in connection with any meeting or proceeding authorized by law. The teleconferenced meeting or proceeding shall comply with all otherwise applicable requirements of this chapter and all otherwise applicable provisions of law relating to a specific type of meeting or proceeding.
(2) Teleconferencing, as authorized by this section, may be used for all purposes in connection with any meeting within the subject matter jurisdiction of the legislative body. All votes taken during a teleconferenced meeting shall be by rollcall.
(3) If the legislative body of a local agency elects to use teleconferencing, it shall post agendas at all teleconference locations and conduct teleconference meetings in a manner that protects the statutory and constitutional rights of the parties or the public appearing before the legislative body of a local agency. Each teleconference location shall be identified in the notice and agenda of the meeting or proceeding, and each teleconference location shall be accessible to the public. During the teleconference, at least a quorum of the members of the legislative body shall participate from locations within the boundaries of the territory over which the local agency exercises jurisdiction, except as provided in subdivisions (d) and (e). The agenda shall provide an opportunity for members of the public to address the legislative body directly pursuant to Section 54954.3 at each teleconference location.
(4) For the purposes of this section, “teleconference” means a meeting of a legislative body, the members of which are in different locations, connected by electronic means, through either audio or video, or both. Nothing in this section shall prohibit a local agency from providing the public with additional teleconference locations.
(c) (1) No legislative body shall take action by secret ballot, whether preliminary or final.
(2) The legislative body of a local agency shall publicly report any action taken and the vote or abstention on that action of each member present for the action.
(3) Prior to taking final action, the legislative body shall orally report a summary of a recommendation for a final action on the salaries, salary schedules, or compensation paid in the form of fringe benefits of a local agency executive, as defined in subdivision (d) of Section 3511.1, during the open meeting in which the final action is to be taken. This paragraph shall not affect the public’s right under the California Public Records Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 6250) of Division 7 of Title 1) to inspect or copy records created or received in the process of developing the recommendation.
(d) (1) Notwithstanding the provisions relating to a quorum in paragraph (3) of subdivision (b), if a health authority conducts a teleconference meeting, members who are outside the jurisdiction of the authority may be counted toward the establishment of a quorum when participating in the teleconference if at least 50 percent of the number of members that would establish a quorum are present within the boundaries of the territory over which the authority exercises jurisdiction, and the health authority provides a teleconference number, and associated access codes, if any, that allows any person to call in to participate in the meeting and the number and access codes are identified in the notice and agenda of the meeting.
(2) Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed as discouraging health authority members from regularly meeting at a common physical site within the jurisdiction of the authority or from using teleconference locations within or near the jurisdiction of the authority. A teleconference meeting for which a quorum is established pursuant to this subdivision shall be subject to all other requirements of this section.
(3) For purposes of this subdivision, a health authority means any entity created pursuant to Sections 14018.7, 14087.31, 14087.35, 14087.36, 14087.38, and 14087.9605 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, any joint powers authority created pursuant to Article 1 (commencing with Section 6500) of Chapter 5 of Division 7 for the purpose of contracting pursuant to Section 14087.3 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, and any advisory committee to a county-sponsored health plan licensed pursuant to Chapter 2.2 (commencing with Section 1340) of Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code if the advisory committee has 12 or more members.
(e) (1) A local agency may use teleconferencing without complying with the requirements of paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) if the legislative body complies with the requirements of paragraph (2) of this subdivision in any of the following circumstances:
(A) The legislative body holds a meeting during a proclaimed state of emergency, and state or local officials have imposed or recommended measures to promote social distancing.
(B) The legislative body holds a meeting during a proclaimed state of emergency for the purpose of determining, by majority vote, whether as a result of the emergency, meeting in person would present imminent risks to the health or safety of attendees.
(C) The legislative body holds a meeting during a proclaimed state of emergency and has determined, by majority vote, pursuant to subparagraph (B), that, as a result of the emergency, meeting in person would present imminent risks to the health or safety of attendees.
(2) A legislative body that holds a meeting pursuant to this subdivision shall do all of the following:
(A) The legislative body shall give notice of the meeting and post agendas as otherwise required by this chapter.
(B) The legislative body shall allow members of the public to access the meeting and the agenda shall provide an opportunity for members of the public to address the legislative body directly pursuant to Section 54954.3. In each instance in which notice of the time of the teleconferenced meeting is otherwise given or the agenda for the meeting is otherwise posted, the legislative body shall also give notice of the means by which members of the public may access the meeting and offer public comment. The agenda shall identify and include an opportunity for all persons to attend via a call-in option or an internet-based service option. This subparagraph shall not be construed to require the legislative body to provide a physical location from which the public may attend or comment.
(C) The legislative body shall conduct teleconference meetings in a manner that protects the statutory and constitutional rights of the parties and the public appearing before the legislative body of a local agency.
(D) In the event of a disruption which prevents the public agency from broadcasting the meeting to members of the public using the call-in option or internet-based service option, or in the event of a disruption within the local agency’s control which prevents members of the public from offering public comments using the call-in option or internet-based service option, the body shall take no further action on items appearing on the meeting agenda until public access to the meeting via the call-in option or internet-based service option is restored. Actions taken on agenda items during a disruption which prevents the public agency from broadcasting the meeting may be challenged pursuant to Section 54960.1.
(E) The legislative body shall not require public comments to be submitted in advance of the meeting and must provide an opportunity for the public to address the legislative body and offer comment in real time. This subparagraph shall not be construed to require the legislative body to provide a physical location from which the public may attend or comment.
(F) Notwithstanding Section 54953.3, an individual desiring to provide public comment through the use of an internet website, or other online platform, not under the control of the local legislative body, that requires registration to log in to a teleconference may be required to register as required by the third-party internet website or online platform to participate.
(G) (i) A legislative body that provides a timed public comment period for each agenda item shall not close the public comment period for the agenda item, or the opportunity to register, pursuant to subparagraph (F), to provide public comment until that timed public comment period has elapsed.
(ii) A legislative body that does not provide a timed public comment period, but takes public comment separately on each agenda item, shall allow a reasonable amount of time per agenda item to allow public members the opportunity to provide public comment, including time for members of the public to register pursuant to subparagraph (F), or otherwise be recognized for the purpose of providing public comment.
(iii) A legislative body that provides a timed general public comment period that does not correspond to a specific agenda item shall not close the public comment period or the opportunity to register, pursuant to subparagraph (F), until the timed general public comment period has elapsed.
(3) If a state of emergency remains active, or state or local officials have imposed or recommended measures to promote social distancing, in order to continue to teleconference without compliance with paragraph (3) of subdivision (b), the legislative body shall, not later than 30 days after teleconferencing for the first time pursuant to subparagraph (A), (B), or (C) of paragraph (1), and every 30 days thereafter, make the following findings by majority vote:
(A) The legislative body has reconsidered the circumstances of the state of emergency.
(B) Any of the following circumstances exist:
(i) The state of emergency continues to directly impact the ability of the members to meet safely in person.
(ii) State or local officials continue to impose or recommend measures to promote social distancing.
(4) For the purposes of this subdivision, “state of emergency” means a state of emergency proclaimed pursuant to Section 8625 of the California Emergency Services Act (Article 1 (commencing with Section 8550) of Chapter 7 of Division 1 of Title 2).
(f) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1, 2024, and as of that date is repealed.

SEC. 4.

 Section 54953 is added to the Government Code, to read:

54953.
 (a) All meetings of the legislative body of a local agency shall be open and public, and all persons shall be permitted to attend any meeting of the legislative body of a local agency, except as otherwise provided in this chapter.
(b) (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the legislative body of a local agency may use teleconferencing for the benefit of the public and the legislative body of a local agency in connection with any meeting or proceeding authorized by law. The teleconferenced meeting or proceeding shall comply with all requirements of this chapter and all otherwise applicable provisions of law relating to a specific type of meeting or proceeding.
(2) Teleconferencing, as authorized by this section, may be used for all purposes in connection with any meeting within the subject matter jurisdiction of the legislative body. All votes taken during a teleconferenced meeting shall be by rollcall.
(3) If the legislative body of a local agency elects to use teleconferencing, it shall post agendas at all teleconference locations and conduct teleconference meetings in a manner that protects the statutory and constitutional rights of the parties or the public appearing before the legislative body of a local agency. Each teleconference location shall be identified in the notice and agenda of the meeting or proceeding, and each teleconference location shall be accessible to the public. During the teleconference, at least a quorum of the members of the legislative body shall participate from locations within the boundaries of the territory over which the local agency exercises jurisdiction, except as provided in subdivision (d). The agenda shall provide an opportunity for members of the public to address the legislative body directly pursuant to Section 54954.3 at each teleconference location.
(4) For the purposes of this section, “teleconference” means a meeting of a legislative body, the members of which are in different locations, connected by electronic means, through either audio or video, or both. Nothing in this section shall prohibit a local agency from providing the public with additional teleconference locations
(c) (1) No legislative body shall take action by secret ballot, whether preliminary or final.
(2) The legislative body of a local agency shall publicly report any action taken and the vote or abstention on that action of each member present for the action.
(3) Prior to taking final action, the legislative body shall orally report a summary of a recommendation for a final action on the salaries, salary schedules, or compensation paid in the form of fringe benefits of a local agency executive, as defined in subdivision (d) of Section 3511.1, during the open meeting in which the final action is to be taken. This paragraph shall not affect the public’s right under the California Public Records Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 6250) of Division 7 of Title 1) to inspect or copy records created or received in the process of developing the recommendation.
(d) (1) Notwithstanding the provisions relating to a quorum in paragraph (3) of subdivision (b), if a health authority conducts a teleconference meeting, members who are outside the jurisdiction of the authority may be counted toward the establishment of a quorum when participating in the teleconference if at least 50 percent of the number of members that would establish a quorum are present within the boundaries of the territory over which the authority exercises jurisdiction, and the health authority provides a teleconference number, and associated access codes, if any, that allows any person to call in to participate in the meeting and the number and access codes are identified in the notice and agenda of the meeting.
(2) Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed as discouraging health authority members from regularly meeting at a common physical site within the jurisdiction of the authority or from using teleconference locations within or near the jurisdiction of the authority. A teleconference meeting for which a quorum is established pursuant to this subdivision shall be subject to all other requirements of this section.
(3) For purposes of this subdivision, a health authority means any entity created pursuant to Sections 14018.7, 14087.31, 14087.35, 14087.36, 14087.38, and 14087.9605 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, any joint powers authority created pursuant to Article 1 (commencing with Section 6500) of Chapter 5 of Division 7 for the purpose of contracting pursuant to Section 14087.3 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, and any advisory committee to a county-sponsored health plan licensed pursuant to Chapter 2.2 (commencing with Section 1340) of Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code if the advisory committee has 12 or more members.
(e) This section shall become operative January 1, 2024.

SEC. 4.1.

 Section 54953 is added to the Government Code, to read:

54953.
 (a) All meetings of the legislative body of a local agency shall be open and public, and all persons shall be permitted to attend any meeting of the legislative body of a local agency, in person except as otherwise provided in this chapter. Local agencies shall conduct meetings subject to this chapter consistent with applicable state and federal civil rights laws, including, but not limited to, any applicable language access and other nondiscrimination obligations.
(b) (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the legislative body of a local agency may use teleconferencing for the benefit of the public and the legislative body of a local agency in connection with any meeting or proceeding authorized by law. The teleconferenced meeting or proceeding shall comply with all requirements of this chapter and all otherwise applicable provisions of law relating to a specific type of meeting or proceeding.
(2) Teleconferencing, as authorized by this section, may be used for all purposes in connection with any meeting within the subject matter jurisdiction of the legislative body. All votes taken during a teleconferenced meeting shall be by rollcall.
(3) If the legislative body of a local agency elects to use teleconferencing, it shall post agendas at all teleconference locations and conduct teleconference meetings in a manner that protects the statutory and constitutional rights of the parties or the public appearing before the legislative body of a local agency. Each teleconference location shall be identified in the notice and agenda of the meeting or proceeding, and each teleconference location shall be accessible to the public. During the teleconference, at least a quorum of the members of the legislative body shall participate from locations within the boundaries of the territory over which the local agency exercises jurisdiction, except as provided in subdivision (d). The agenda shall provide an opportunity for members of the public to address the legislative body directly pursuant to Section 54954.3 at each teleconference location.
(4) For the purposes of this section, “teleconference” means a meeting of a legislative body, the members of which are in different locations, connected by electronic means, through either audio or video, or both. Nothing in this section shall prohibit a local agency from providing the public with additional teleconference locations.
(c) (1) No legislative body shall take action by secret ballot, whether preliminary or final.
(2) The legislative body of a local agency shall publicly report any action taken and the vote or abstention on that action of each member present for the action.
(3) Prior to taking final action, the legislative body shall orally report a summary of a recommendation for a final action on the salaries, salary schedules, or compensation paid in the form of fringe benefits of a local agency executive, as defined in subdivision (d) of Section 3511.1, during the open meeting in which the final action is to be taken. This paragraph shall not affect the public’s right under the California Public Records Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 6250) of Division 7 of Title 1) to inspect or copy records created or received in the process of developing the recommendation.
(d) (1) Notwithstanding the provisions relating to a quorum in paragraph (3) of subdivision (b), if a health authority conducts a teleconference meeting, members who are outside the jurisdiction of the authority may be counted toward the establishment of a quorum when participating in the teleconference if at least 50 percent of the number of members that would establish a quorum are present within the boundaries of the territory over which the authority exercises jurisdiction, and the health authority provides a teleconference number, and associated access codes, if any, that allows any person to call in to participate in the meeting and the number and access codes are identified in the notice and agenda of the meeting.
(2) Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed as discouraging health authority members from regularly meeting at a common physical site within the jurisdiction of the authority or from using teleconference locations within or near the jurisdiction of the authority. A teleconference meeting for which a quorum is established pursuant to this subdivision shall be subject to all other requirements of this section.
(3) For purposes of this subdivision, a health authority means any entity created pursuant to Sections 14018.7, 14087.31, 14087.35, 14087.36, 14087.38, and 14087.9605 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, any joint powers authority created pursuant to Article 1 (commencing with Section 6500) of Chapter 5 of Division 7 for the purpose of contracting pursuant to Section 14087.3 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, and any advisory committee to a county-sponsored health plan licensed pursuant to Chapter 2.2 (commencing with Section 1340) of Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code if the advisory committee has 12 or more members.
(e) This section shall become operative January 1, 2024.
SEC. 5.
 Sections 3.1 and 4.1 of this bill incorporate amendments to Section 54953 of the Government Code proposed by both this bill and Assembly Bill 339. Those sections of this bill shall only become operative if (1) both bills are enacted and become effective on or before January 1, 2022, but this bill becomes operative first, (2) each bill amends Section 54953 of the Government Code, and (3) this bill is enacted after Assembly Bill 339, in which case Section 54953 of the Government Code, as amended by Sections 3 and 4 of this bill, shall remain operative only until the operative date of Assembly Bill 339, at which time Sections 3.1 and 4.1 of this bill shall become operative.
SEC. 6.
 It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this act to improve and enhance public access to state and local agency meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic and future applicable emergencies, by allowing broader access through teleconferencing options consistent with the Governor’s Executive Order No. N-29-20 dated March 17, 2020, permitting expanded use of teleconferencing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
SEC. 7.
 The Legislature finds and declares that Sections 3 and 4 of this act, which amend, repeal, and add Section 54953 of the Government Code, further, within the meaning of paragraph (7) of subdivision (b) of Section 3 of Article I of the California Constitution, the purposes of that constitutional section as it relates to the right of public access to the meetings of local public bodies or the writings of local public officials and local agencies. Pursuant to paragraph (7) of subdivision (b) of Section 3 of Article I of the California Constitution, the Legislature makes the following findings:
This act is necessary to ensure minimum standards for public participation and notice requirements allowing for greater public participation in teleconference meetings during applicable emergencies.
SEC. 8.
 (a) The Legislature finds and declares that during the COVID-19 public health emergency, certain requirements of the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act (Article 9 (commencing with Section 11120) of Chapter 1 of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code) were suspended by Executive Order N-29-20. Audio and video teleconference were widely used to conduct public meetings in lieu of physical location meetings, and public meetings conducted by teleconference during the COVID-19 public health emergency have been productive, have increased public participation by all members of the public regardless of their location in the state and ability to travel to physical meeting locations, have protected the health and safety of civil servants and the public, and have reduced travel costs incurred by members of state bodies and reduced work hours spent traveling to and from meetings.
(b) The Legislature finds and declares that Section 1 of this act, which adds and repeals Section 89305.6 of the Education Code, Section 2 of this act, which adds and repeals Section 11133 of the Government Code, and Sections 3 and 4 of this act, which amend, repeal, and add Section 54953 of the Government Code, all increase and potentially limit the public’s right of access to the meetings of public bodies or the writings of public officials and agencies within the meaning of Section 3 of Article I of the California Constitution. Pursuant to that constitutional provision, the Legislature makes the following findings to demonstrate the interest protected by this limitation and the need for protecting that interest:
(1) By removing the requirement that public meetings be conducted at a primary physical location with a quorum of members present, this act protects the health and safety of civil servants and the public and does not preference the experience of members of the public who might be able to attend a meeting in a physical location over members of the public who cannot travel or attend that meeting in a physical location.
(2) By removing the requirement for agendas to be placed at the location of each public official participating in a public meeting remotely, including from the member’s private home or hotel room, this act protects the personal, private information of public officials and their families while preserving the public’s right to access information concerning the conduct of the people’s business.
SEC. 9.
 This act is an urgency statute necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety within the meaning of Article IV of the California Constitution and shall go into immediate effect. The facts constituting the necessity are:
In order to ensure that state and local agencies can continue holding public meetings while providing essential services like water, power, and fire protection to their constituents during public health, wildfire, or other states of emergencies, it is necessary that this act take effect immediately.