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Senate approves Open Meeting Act modernization

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Senate unanimously advanced legislation from President Pro Tempore Greg Treat that would modernize the state’s Open Meeting Act.

Senate Bill 1032 requires all public meetings at a physical location include a livestream for citizens to be able to view meetings virtually, unless the governmental entity faces technical or logistical difficulties. It automatically allows for completely virtual public meetings immediately upon a declaration of emergency by the governor, in all counties covered by each emergency declaration.

“Local, county and state entities were forced during the pandemic to move public meetings online. That move provided more access to citizens to participate in government at all levels. It makes sense to incorporate those new technologies into public meetings moving forward. Doing so will increase transparency and accountability of government all levels, the whole purpose of the open meeting laws. I appreciate my Senate colleagues for advancing this key government modernization measure and look forward to it moving through the House,” Treat said.

Senate Bill 1032 now advances to the Oklahoma House of Representatives where the primary House author is Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka.