Inside208

House Committee Deadlocks on Physically Present to Vote Bill

Posted on March 24, 2017 by Dene Westbrook

Legislation that would ban elected government officials from voting remotely through Skype or conference call failed to get majority support in the House Committee on Oversight this week.

House Bill 4184 is a reintroduction of legislation which passed the House and Senate last term, but died after the House declined to vote on a Senate change. The legislation, as introduced, amends the Open Meetings Act to require an elected member of a public body be physically present to vote on an issue in order for a meeting to be considered open to the public. There is one exception that allows one remote video vote a year for a “good cause” such as a serious illness or a family member death.

The committee deadlocked 3-3 on moving the bill to the House floor when one Republican member joined the panel’s two Democrats in voting no. The vote was reconsidered and essentially tabled for the day.

Jennifer Rigterink is a legislative associate for the League handling economic development, land use and municipal services issues.  She can be reached at jrigterink@mml.org or 517-908-0305.

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