April 3, 2020

Updated: Open Public Meetings and Infectious Disease Outbreak

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[1] (“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 Proclamation temporarily prohibits in-person public meetings, facilitates a process for holding fully remote meetings and limits the range of actions that can be taken in a remote meeting while the Proclamation is in effect. Following the Proclamation, the Washington State Attorney General’s Office (“AGO”) revised its March 6, 2020 OPMA guidance for the COVID-19 outbreak (as revised, the “AGO Guidance”).[2] The following is a summary of the Proclamation and the AGO Guidance currently in effect.

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[1] A copy of the Proclamation is available here.

[2] A copy of the updated AGO Guidance is available here.