Virginia Freedom of Information Act; meetings held through electronic communication means. (SB1271)

Introduced By

Sen. Jeremy McPike (D-Dale City) with support from co-patron Del. Wendy Gooditis (D-Clarke)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Virginia Freedom of Information Act; meetings held through electronic communication means during a state of emergency. Allows a public body, or a joint meeting thereof, to meet by electronic communication means without a quorum of the public body physically assembled at one location when a locality in which the public body is located has declared a local state of emergency, provided that (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 provide for the continuity of operations of the public body or the discharge of its lawful purposes, duties, and responsibilities. Under current law, public bodies may only meet in such manner when the Governor has declared a state of emergency, and only for the purpose of addressing the emergency. Finally, the bill requires public bodies meeting through electronic communication means during a local or state declaration of a state of emergency to (a) make arrangements for public access to such meeting through electronic communication means, including videoconferencing if already used by the public body, and (b) provide the public with the opportunity to comment at such meetings when public comment is customarily received. Read the Bill »


01/20/2021: passed committee


01/12/2021Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/13/21 21101309D
01/12/2021Referred to Committee on General Laws and Technology
01/14/2021Impact statement from DPB (SB1271)
01/20/2021Reported from General Laws and Technology (15-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/22/2021Constitutional reading dispensed (37-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)

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