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To Continue Remote Meetings

Thu, 01/13/2022 - 11:08

A bill to enable municipalities, school districts, and other public entities to continue meeting virtually during the Covid-19 pandemic has passed both the New York State Assembly and Senate.

Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. announced yesterday that the bill makes these types of meetings “widely accessible” and “protects public health.” He sponsored the bill along with State Senator Jim Gaughran, who represents Long Island’s North Shore.

“As New York State and local governments continue their ongoing and ever-evolving response to the Covid-19 pandemic, it is nothing short of a necessity for local governments to have the authorization to meet safely and without delay,” Mr. Thiele said in a statement. “Having heard from local leaders in my constituency and across New York State, it has been made abundantly clear that this bill will continue to ensure safer and more accessible public meetings.”

The bill now awaits Gov. Kathy Hochul’s signature.

A representative of the nonprofit LTV Studios, which films remote meetings for East Hampton Town and Village, their regulatory bodies, and the East Hampton and Springs school boards, testified before the State Legislature in support of the measure.

“We are thankful to Fred Thiele and the Assembly for passing this important legislation,” Michael Clark, LTV’s executive director, said yesterday. “Even though it’s only for the pandemic, remote meetings are not going away. It’s good to see the government agencies embracing that. It is a step in the right direction.”

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