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AB-1419 Local educational agencies: meetings: online public participation.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 02/19/2021 09:00 PM
AB1419:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1419


Introduced by Assembly Member Kiley

February 19, 2021


An act to add Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 36100) to Part 21 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Education Code, relating to local educational agencies.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1419, as introduced, Kiley. Local educational agencies: meetings: online public participation.
Existing law, the Ralph M. Brown Act requires, with specified exceptions, that all meetings of a legislative body of a local agency, as those terms are defined, be open and public and that all persons be permitted to attend and participate. The act contains specified provisions regarding the timelines for posting an agenda and providing for the ability of the public to directly address the legislative body on any item of interest to the public. The act generally requires all regular and special meetings of the legislative body be held within the boundaries of the territory over which the local agency exercises jurisdiction, subject to certain exceptions. The act allows for meetings to occur via teleconferencing subject to certain requirements, particularly that the legislative body notice each teleconference location of each member that will be participating in the public meeting, that each teleconference location be accessible to the public, that members of the public be allowed to address the legislative body at each teleconference location, that the legislative body post an agenda at each teleconference location, and that at least a quorum of the legislative body participate from locations within the boundaries of the local agency’s jurisdiction.
Executive Order No. N-29-20 suspends the Ralph M. Brown Act’s requirements for teleconferencing during the COVID-19 pandemic provided that notice and accessibility requirements are met, the public members are allowed to observe and address the legislative body at the meeting, and that a legislative body of a local agency has a procedure for receiving and swiftly resolving requests for reasonable accommodation for individuals with disabilities, as specified.
This bill would require, in addition to the requirements of the Ralph M. Brown Act, the governing board of a school district, a county board of education, and the governing body of a charter school to make any public meeting of the board or body accessible electronically online to all members of the public seeking to attend and ensure the opportunity for the members of the public participating electronically to comment on agenda items in the same manner as a person attending a meeting in person. By imposing additional duties on local educational agencies, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires local agencies, for the purpose of ensuring public access to the meetings of public bodies and the writings of public officials and agencies, to comply with a statutory enactment that amends or enacts laws relating to public records or open meetings and contains findings demonstrating that the enactment furthers the constitutional requirements relating to this purpose.
This bill would make legislative findings to that effect.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Chapter 6 (commencing with Section 36100) is added to Part 21 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Education Code, to read:
CHAPTER  6. Miscellaneous Provisions Applicable to School Districts, County Offices of Education, and Charter Schools

36100.
 In addition to the requirements of the Ralph M. Brown Act (Chapter 9 (commencing with Section 54950) of Part 1 of Division 2 of Title 5 of the Government Code), the governing board of a school district, a county board of education, and the governing body of a charter school shall make any public meeting accessible electronically online to all members of the public seeking to attend and ensure the opportunity for the members of the public participating electronically to comment on agenda items in the same manner as a person attending a meeting in person.

SEC. 2.

 The Legislature finds and declares that Section 1 of this act, which adds Section 36100 of the Education Code, furthers, 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 greater public participation in the public meetings of local educational agencies.

SEC. 3.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district under this act would result from a legislative mandate that is within the scope of paragraph (7) of subdivision (b) of Section 3 of Article I of the California Constitution.