Bill Text: TX HB2560 | 2021-2022 | 87th Legislature | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to remote meetings under the open meetings law.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced - Dead) 2021-03-17 - Referred to State Affairs [HB2560 Detail]

Download: Texas-2021-HB2560-Introduced.html
  87R5552 JON-D
 
  By: Martinez H.B. No. 2560
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to remote meetings under the open meetings law.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 551.125, Government Code, is amended by
  adding Subsection (g) to read as follows:
         (g)  Without regard to whether a member of the governmental
  body is participating in a meeting from a remote location by
  telephone conference call, a governmental body may allow a member
  of the public to speak at a meeting from a remote location by
  telephone conference call.
         SECTION 2.  Section 551.127, Government Code, is amended by
  amending Subsections (a-3), (b), (d), (e), and (k) and adding
  Subsection (l) to read as follows:
         (a-3)  A member of a governmental body who participates in a
  meeting by videoconference call shall be considered absent from any
  portion of the meeting during which audio or video communication
  with the member is lost or disconnected. The governmental body may
  continue the meeting only if members in a number sufficient to
  constitute a quorum of the body remain audible and visible to each
  other and, during the open portion of the meeting, to the public
  [remains present at the meeting location or, if applicable,
  continues to participate in a meeting conducted under Subsection
  (c)].
         (b)  A meeting may be held by videoconference call only if
  the member of the governmental body presiding over the meeting is
  physically present at the location specified under Subsection
  (e)(1) [a quorum of the governmental body is physically present at
  one location of the meeting, except as provided by Subsection (c)].
         (d)  A meeting held by videoconference call is subject to the
  notice requirements applicable to other meetings except as
  otherwise provided by Subsection (e) [in addition to the notice
  requirements prescribed by this section].
         (e)  The notice of a meeting to be held by videoconference
  call must:
               (1)  specify as the location of the meeting the
  location where the member of the governmental body presiding over
  the meeting will be physically present;
               (2)  indicate that the meeting will be held by
  videoconference call under this section; 
               (3)  list each physical location where members of the
  public may observe or participate in the meeting, including:
                     (A)  any location that is open to the public where
  a member of the governmental body intends to participate in the
  meeting; and
                     (B)  any facility provided by the governmental
  body for members of the public to observe or speak at the meeting; 
               (4)  include access information for both audio-only and
  audiovisual feeds of the meeting; and
               (5)  if applicable, include instructions for a member
  of the public to speak at the meeting from a remote location or
  while physically present at a location described by Subdivision (3) 
  [specify as a location of the meeting the location where a quorum of
  the governmental body will be physically present and specify the
  intent to have a quorum present at that location, except that the
  notice of a meeting to be held by videoconference call under
  Subsection (c) must specify as a location of the meeting the
  location where the member of the governmental body presiding over
  the meeting will be physically present and specify the intent to
  have the member of the governmental body presiding over the meeting
  present at that location. The location where the member of the
  governmental body presiding over the meeting is physically present
  shall be open to the public during the open portions of the
  meeting].
         (k)  Without regard to whether a member of the governmental
  body is participating in a meeting from a remote location by
  videoconference call, a governmental body may allow a person to
  speak [member of the public to testify] at a meeting from a remote
  location by videoconference call.
         (l)  The location where the member of the governmental body
  presiding over the meeting is physically present shall be open to
  the public during the open portions of the meeting.
         SECTION 3.  Section 33.256(b), Education Code, is amended to
  read as follows:
         (b)  Section 551.125, Government Code, applies to a meeting
  held by conference call under this section[, except that
  Section 551.125(b), Government Code, does not apply].
         SECTION 4.  Section 81.406(b), Health and Safety Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         (b)  The task force may meet telephonically in accordance
  with Section 551.125 [551.125(b)(3)], Government Code.
         SECTION 5.  Section 116.006(b), Health and Safety Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         (b)  Section 551.125, Government Code, applies to a meeting
  held by conference call under this section[, except that
  Section 551.125(b), Government Code, does not apply].
         SECTION 6.  Section 117.056(b), Health and Safety Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         (b)  To ensure appropriate representation from all areas of
  this state, the committee may meet by videoconference or telephone
  conference call. A meeting held by videoconference or telephone
  conference call under this subsection must comply with the
  requirements applicable to a telephone conference call under
  Sections 551.125(c), (d), (e), and (f), Government Code. Section
  551.127, Government Code, does [Sections 551.125(b) and 551.127,
  Government Code, do] not apply to the committee.
         SECTION 7.  Section 120.054(b), Health and Safety Code, is
  amended to read as follows:
         (b)  Section 551.125, Government Code, applies to a meeting
  held by conference call under this section[, except that
  Section 551.125(b), Government Code, does not apply].
         SECTION 8.  Section 3.01(j), Article 6243a-1, Revised
  Statutes, is amended to read as follows:
         (j)  The board has full power to make rules pertaining to the
  conduct of its meetings and to the operation of the pension system
  as long as its rules are not, subject to Subsections (j-1) and (j-2)
  of this section, inconsistent with the terms of this article, any
  pension plan within the pension system, or the laws of this state or
  the United States to the extent applicable. A board meeting may be
  held by telephone conference call or by videoconference call in
  accordance with Sections 551.125 and 551.127, Government Code[,
  except that Section 551.125(b), Government Code, does not apply].
         SECTION 9.  Sections 551.125(b) and 551.127(c), Government
  Code, are repealed.
         SECTION 10.  This Act takes effect immediately if it
  receives a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each
  house, as provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution.  
  If this Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate
  effect, this Act takes effect September 1, 2021.
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