FOIA; meetings held through electronic communication during declared states of emergency. (HB816)

Introduced By

Del. Mike Cherry (R-Colonial Heights)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Virginia Freedom of Information Act; effective date of procedures for conducting meetings held through electronic communication means during declared states of emergency. Provides that the provisions for conducting a meeting by electronic means due to a state of emergency stated in the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) are declarative of existing law since March 20, 2020, with respect to the Governor's declared state of emergency due to COVID-19. Under the bill, any meeting by a public body using electronic communication means occurring from that date until July 1, 2021, and any otherwise lawful action taken at it is validated with respect to FOIA if the body provided public notice, public access, and public comment commensurate with the requirements of existing FOIA provisions regarding electronic and closed meetings. The bill is a response to the case Berry v. Bd. of Supervisors (Va. 2023) and is a recommendation of the Virginia Freedom of Information Advisory Council. This bill is identical to SB 244. Read the Bill »

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Bill Has Passed


01/09/2024Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/10/24 24104450D
01/09/2024Referred to Committee on General Laws
01/18/2024Impact statement from DPB (HB816)
01/22/2024Assigned GL sub: Procurement/Open Government
01/26/2024Assigned GL sub: Procurement/Open Government
02/06/2024Subcommittee recommends reporting (7-Y 0-N)
02/08/2024Reported from General Laws (20-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/11/2024Read first time
02/12/2024Read second time and engrossed
02/13/2024Read third time and passed House BLOCK VOTE (99-Y 0-N)
02/13/2024VOTE: Block Vote Passage (99-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/14/2024Constitutional reading dispensed
02/14/2024Referred to Committee on General Laws and Technology
02/21/2024Reported from General Laws and Technology (9-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/23/2024Constitutional reading dispensed (38-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/26/2024Read third time
02/26/2024Passed Senate (40-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
02/29/2024Bill text as passed House and Senate (HB816ER)
02/29/2024Impact statement from DPB (HB816ER)
02/29/2024Signed by Speaker
03/03/2024Signed by President
03/11/2024Enrolled Bill communicated to Governor on March 11, 2024
03/11/2024G Governor's Action Deadline 11:59 p.m., April 8, 2024
04/02/2024G Approved by Governor-Chapter 305 (effective 7/1/24)
04/02/2024G Acts of Assembly Chapter text (CHAP0305)

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