Photo of Senator Cassano.

State Senator

Steve Cassano

Representing Andover, Bolton, Glastonbury & Manchester

Senator Cassano Joins Senate Passage of Bill Allowing Hybrid, Remote Public Meetings Indefinitely

Current law was set to expire April 30

Today, the State Senate passed legislation allowing public agencies to hold remote and hybrid meetings, as long as they comply with existing requirements, in perpetuity. State Senator Steve Cassano (D-Manchester), Senate Chair of the Planning and Development Committee, joined the Senate's passage of this bill. Without tonight's action, agencies would have been forced to meet solely in person beginning May 1.

"Since the start of the pandemic, the additional flexibility and connection offered by remote meetings and hybrid meetings have allowed municipalities and public agencies to conduct business safely and effectively," said Sen. Cassano. "Tonight, with the Senate's approval of this legislation, there is no longer a sunset date for the end of remote or hybrid meeting availability. This provides many agencies with security, as we do not know what the future holds; whatever happens in the future, these options are available to those who need them."

House Bill 5269, "An Act Concerning Remote Meetings Under The Freedom of Information Act," removes the April 30, 2022 sunset date from current law that would end the practice of public agencies holding public meetings using electronic equipment or electronic equipment combined with in-person meetings. With that change, hybrid and remote meetings, when needed, can be used for the foreseeable future; boards can also choose to operate with in-person meetings without issue.

This bill received widespread report from groups including the CT Association of Boards of Education, the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, the Connecticut Council of Small Towns, the Council on Freedom of Information and the ACLU of Connecticut.

In a survey conducted by the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, 90% of more than 230 municipal stakeholders surveyed preferred retaining the option of remote and hybrid meetings.

This bill passed the Planning and Development Committee by a 18-8 vote in March and passed the House on April 13 by a 101-40 vote, with only Republicans opposing. With its approval, it proceeds to the Governor's desk to be signed into law.






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