Public Meetings & Town Bylaws
Open Meeting Law
Suspension of Certain Provisions of the Open Meeting Law
The Baker-Polito Administration announced on March 12, 2020, an emergency order temporarily modifying the state’s open meeting law in order to allow state, quasi and local governments to continue to carry out essential functions and operations during the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.
This emergency order suspends the requirement for public access to the physical location where a public meeting is taking place, provided there are other means of access available. This includes the use of a phone conference line for members of the public, social media or other internet streaming services, on-line meeting services, or methods of access.
This order relieves the requirement that a quorum of members be physically present at a public meeting. During this period, members may all participate by remote or virtual means.
This order is applicable to meetings of public bodies including commissions, boards, and committees that engage in policy making at the state, quasi and local level, and it does not apply to Town Meetings or judicial and quasi-judicial hearings. It follows Governor Baker’s declaration of a State of Emergency on Wednesday, March 11, and it will remain in place until rescinded or the State of Emergency is terminated.
- AN ACT RELATIVE TO EXTENDING CERTAIN COVID-19 MEASURES ADOPTED DURING THE STATE OF EMERGENCY (PDF)
- Massachusetts Office of Open Government
- Open Meeting Law Guidelines (PDF)
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