Last night Governor Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-129, which extends a previous executive order allowing public bodies to conduct public meetings remotely during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Executive Order 2020-129 expires on July 31, 2020.
Under Executive Order 2020-129, public bodies subject to the Open Meetings Act, including boards, commissions, committees, subcommittees, authorities, councils and nonprofit boards, can use telephone- or video-conferencing methods to continue meeting and conducting business during the COVID-19 public health crisis, so long as they follow certain procedures to ensure meaningful access and participation by members of the public body and the general public.
Public bodies must meet the following criteria when holding a public meeting remotely:
• Ensure two-way communication for members and the public to hear and address each other when speaking.
• Provide adequate notice to the public of the meeting.
• Post a public meeting notice on their website.
• Permit participants to record or broadcast the public meeting.
• Allow participants to address the public body during a public comment period.
The order temporarily authorizes public bodies, departments and agencies to use technology to enable remote participation in public comment and hearings, and temporarily excuses school boards from monthly meeting requirements.
Across the state except in Regions 6 & 8 (see map below), EO 2020-110 limits indoor gatherings with persons that are not part of your household to 10 people or less, while remaining six feet apart from one another. Outdoor gatherings up to 100 individuals are allowed, provided people not in the same households remain six feet away from each other.
In Regions 6 & 8 (see map below), EO 2020-115 allows for indoor gatherings of up to 50 persons not in the same household. For outdoor gatherings, the limit is 250 or fewer persons. Individuals are still required to maintain six feet of separation from persons that are not a part of their household.
*This information is current at time of posting, but due to rapidly changing info and the continual updating of regulations, please confirm with your municipal legal counsel to make sure you are operating with the most current information.
Jennifer Rigterink is a legislative associate for the League handling economic development, land use and municipal services issues. She can be reached at [email protected] or 517-908-0305.