Oklahama Senate extends virtual meetings act amid COVID-19

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Oklahama Senate extends virtual meetings act amid COVID-19


The Oklahoma Senate on Wednesday unanimously approved an extension of 2020 legislation that allows state lawmakers and other public bodies to meet virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic, with some amendments.

The amendments extend the exemptions of the state’s Open Meetings Act until Feb. 15, 2022, or until Gov. Kevin Stitt ends the state of emergency he declared at the beginning of the pandemic in March of last year.

It also requires governing bodies “to not modify the method of meeting described in the [public] notice prior to the meeting and to include the code or password to access the meeting in the public notice when applicable,” so the general public can watch and participate in the meeting.

And it requires any documents prepared for public officials prior to the meeting to be posted online and available for public viewing.

The vote was 45-0 in the Senate, with two excused absences. It now heads to the house for consideration.





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