LANSING, Mich., April 13, 2022 — State Rep. Brenda Carter (D-Pontiac) introduced legislation today to give community members more opportunities to participate in local government meetings. House Bill 6021 would allow local units of government to hold hybrid meetings. The Michigan Legislature has amended the Open Meetings Act (OMA) multiple times during the COVID-19 pandemic to enable virtual meetings. However, all local governments are once again required to meet in person.
“Local governments have shown time and again over the last two years that they can conduct virtual meetings efficiently and effectively,” Carter said. “During that time, many communities saw increased public participation. Government works better when more people are involved in the process, and allowing full access to those who can’t make in-person meetings will only have a positive impact.”
The bill allows local government hybrid meetings if:
- Elected officials attending virtually are within the boundaries of the district they represent.
- At least one elected official is physically present at the meeting.
- There is a physical meeting location for members of the public who wish to participate in person.
- The meeting is recorded and archived for a minimum of one year.