Freedom of Information Act; local public bodies may meet by electronic communication. (HB854)

Introduced By

Sen. Adam Ebbin (D-Alexandria)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Freedom of Information Act; electronic meetings; authority of local public bodies. Allows any local governing body, school board, or any authority, board, bureau, commission, district, or agency of local government to meet by electronic communication means without a quorum of the public body physically assembled at one location when the Governor has declared a state of emergency in accordance with 44-146.17, provided (i) the catastrophic nature of the declared emergency makes it impracticable or unsafe to assemble a quorum in a single location and (ii) the purpose of the meeting is to address the emergency. The local public body convening the meeting shall (a) give public notice using the best available method given the nature of the emergency, which notice shall be given contemporaneously with the notice provided members of the local public body conducting the meeting; (b) make arrangements for public access to such meeting; and (c) otherwise comply with the provisions for electronic communication meetings. The nature of the emergency and the fact that the meeting was held by electronic communication means shall be stated in the minutes. The bill contains a technical amendment. The bill is a recommendation of the Freedom of Information Advisory Council. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Passed


01/08/2008Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/09/08 081764492
01/08/2008Referred to Committee on General Laws
01/15/2008Impact statement from DPB (HB854)
01/17/2008Assigned GL sub: FOIA
02/05/2008Reported from General Laws (22-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/06/2008Read first time
02/07/2008Read second time and engrossed
02/08/2008Read third time and passed House BLOCK VOTE (99-Y 0-N)
02/08/2008VOTE: BLOCK VOTE PASSAGE (99-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/08/2008Communicated to Senate
02/11/2008Constitutional reading dispensed
02/11/2008Referred to Committee on General Laws and Technology
02/19/2008Assigned GL&T sub: Subcommittee #1 (FOIA)
02/27/2008Reported from General Laws and Technology (10-Y 0-N)
02/29/2008Passed by for the day
03/03/2008Constitutional reading dispensed (40-Y 0-N)
03/04/2008Read third time
03/04/2008Passed Senate (40-Y 0-N)
03/06/2008Bill text as passed House and Senate (HB854ER)
03/06/2008Impact statement from DPB (HB854ER)
03/06/2008Signed by Speaker
03/09/2008Signed by President
04/02/2008G Approved by Governor-Chapter 789 (effective 7/1/08)


Virginia ITSP Association, tracking this bill in Photosynthesis, notes:

Supports GRTC position on e-Government