June 3, 2020

Updated June 3, 2020: Open Public Meetings and Infectious Disease Outbreak

Updated June 3, 2020: Open Public Meetings and Infectious Disease Outbreak

Proclamation 20-28, as amended temporarily waives certain requirements of the Washington State Open Public Meetings Act (“OPMA”) for all governing bodies in the State subject to the OPMA.

Using emergency powers to provide for the functioning of government during the coronavirus (“COVID-19”) crisis, on March 24, 2020, Governor Inslee issued Proclamation 20-28, as amended (the “Original Proclamation”) temporarily waiving certain requirements of the Washington State Open Public Meetings Act (“OPMA”) for all governing bodies in the State subject to the OPMA. Among other provisions, the Original Proclamation (a) temporarily prohibited in-person public meetings, (b) facilitated a process for holding fully remote meetings and (c) limited the range of actions that can be taken in a remote meeting while the Proclamation is in effect.  On May 29, 2020, Governor Inslee issued Proclamation 20-28.4 (the “Proclamation”) further extending the prohibition on in-person public meetings and notably, eliminating the prior limitation on what type of “action” may be taken at a meeting. Following the Proclamation, the Washington State Attorney General’s Office (“AGO”) revised its prior OPMA guidance for the COVID-19 outbreak (as revised, the “AGO Guidance”).

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