COVID Restrictions End; Meetings Must Be Held in Person Starting June 15

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FRAMINGHAM – As of midnight, the state of emergency in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts ended.

With that several restrictions that were in place by Gov. Charlie Baker ended, including the right for public boards, committees, & commissions to meet remotely.

Under the Commonwealth’s Open meeting Law all board/committee meetings but adhere to the Open Meeting Law and meet in a publicly-assessible location, and not 100% remotely, like on Zoom.

In the City of Framingham, a remote participation ordinance is in effect. That allows some members of boards and committees to meet remotely, but with the state of emergency lifted the chair of the board and a quorum of the board must meet in person.

On May 25, Governor Baker filed legislation to extend certain emergency measures currently in place via executive orders that were set to expire on June 15 when the State of Emergency will be rescinded.

The bill filed by Governor Baker would have extended provisions related to the Commonwealth’s Open Meeting Law until September 1, 2021, which will allow additional time to consider possible permanent changes to the open meeting law to provide for greater flexibility in conducting open meetings through reliance on electronic streaming and similar measures.

The Massachusetts Senate and the Massachusetts House of Representatives however failed to act on the legislation by the June 15 deadline.

The House and the Senate are both expected to meet later today to discuss the legislation.

A Senate version would have allowed remote meeting through April 2022.

Tonight, the Framingham City Council will meet in person at the Memorial Building at 7 p.m.

The City Council held an in-person meeting on June 1, but the public was not allowed to attend. With the restrictions lifted, and no new legislation, the public may attend tonight’s meeting if they choose.

The meeting will also be live-streamed on Facebook and air live on the Government Channel.

editor

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