Open Meetings Law Guidance Update for April 18, 2022

As part of the New York State Budget Bill process, Governor Hochul approved Chapter 56 of the N.Y. Laws of 22 on April 9, 2022, which modifies the parts of Open Meeting Law related to the holding of public meetings until July 1, 2024. While the new law, which will be codified as section 103-a of the N.Y. Public Officers Law, has many novel provisions, a 60-day grace period keeps the prior version of the law in place through June 8, 2022.

For charter school education corporation boards of trustees this means the prior flexibility for boards to meet via videoconference continues until June 8th. Specifically,

  • Charter school trustees may continue to participate in meeting by conference telephone or without in-person public access at every remote site;
  • Boards must still notice meetings in accordance with the Open Meetings Law but the notice does not have to include the location of every trustee who may participate via videoconference or conference telephone;
  • Board meeting notices must include how the public will be able to access the meeting via telephone or videoconference (e.g., web link); and,
  • Boards must record meeting, and later transcribe the recordings, with the transcripts to be available through the N.Y. Freedom of Information Law.

As a best practice, the SUNY Charter Schools Institute recommends using a school site as a videoconference location for those parents and members of the public who do not have computer or internet access.

The N.Y.S. Committee on Open Government has produced a FAQ.

The Institute will be providing further information on the statutory changes.  Please direct any questions to the Institute’s Legal Team.