Assemblymember Robert Rivas’ office announced Gov. Newsom signed Rivas’ Assembly Bill 361 Sept. 16. This bill will temporarily provide state agencies and local legislative bodies the flexibility to meet remotely during emergencies, such as raging wildfires or a pandemic.
According to the release, this legislation will ensure the delivery of essential government services to Californians in times of crisis while maintaining high levels of transparency and public access.
“State agencies and local legislative bodies provide essential services like water, power, and fire protection – it’s critical that the public be safely engaged regardless of emergency conditions,” said Asm. Rivas. “AB 361 will enable these bodies to continue serving their constituents remotely while requiring that the public can join the meeting either via telephone or videoconference. I am thankful that Governor Newsom has signed this bill into law, which will take effect immediately as we experience another record-breaking wildfire season and more COVID-19 variants.”