Attorney General Leslie Rutledge: Summary of Opinions Released
Opinion Number: 2021-048 Requestor: Whitaker, David The Honorable
If a city council has adopted rules of procedure pursuant to Ark. Code Ann. § 14-43-501, which includes authorization to meet virtually rather than physically, can the city council meet through electronic means rather than in person as long as there are means in place to ensure that members of the public can hear and participate in the conversation and debate? Q2) Are Act 2 of the Fiscal Session of the 92nd General Assembly and Act 56 of the Regular Session of the 93rd General Assembly, either collectively or individually, still applicable and effective despite the expiration of the Governor’s Pandemic Emergency Decree? RESPONSE: The answer to your first question is “yes,” so long as safeguards for the public to virtually “attend” these meetings are in place and followed. With respect to your second question, while the relevant provisions of Act 2 of 2020 have expired, Act 56 of 2021 is currently in force because of the governor’s recent emergency declaration.
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