On Wednesday, March 25th, the State adopted HB 197 related to conducting public meetings and hearings by telephone or videoconferencing. These changes are only in effect during the Governor’s declared emergency, with a sunset date of December 1, 2020, even if the emergency is still in place.
The policy allows for members to attend, participate, be counted for a quorum, and vote even when attending a meeting by teleconference or videoconference.
The public body – in this case, the Village of Greenhills - must provide notice to the public and the press of the time, place, and manner of the meeting. The notice must, and will, provide members of the public access to any meeting or hearing conducted under this new law commensurate with the method in which the meeting is being conducted (examples include live-streaming on TV or the internet, access to the telephone conference, or access to the video conference). The public must be able to observe and hear the discussions and deliberations of all members of the public body.
When conducting a public hearing in this method, the public body must establish a way that the hearing participants and the public can participate in the hearing through the use of electronic equipment widely available to the general public. The Village is working with Waycross Media to arrange this access for any meetings held during the declared emergency.
Watch this website for details as they become available.