On Sept. 13, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 2449 (Rubio, D-Baldwin Park), which provides additional options for compliant teleconferencing under the Brown Act beyond those provided in current law. AB 2449 provides a teleconferencing option that will be in effect from Jan. 1, 2023, until Jan. 1, 2026, and allows board members to attend meetings remotely without following the traditional rules for teleconferenced meetings if the meetings meet certain requirements and if the member participating remotely demonstrates a need to do so, either because of an emergency circumstance or other “just cause” as defined in the statute (for non-emergencies, members may only make use of this provision two times per calendar year). Among other things, AB 2449 requires boards to provide members of the public the ability to access the meeting either by a two-way audiovisual platform or a two-way telephonic service and live webcasting of the meeting. Information on how to access this method must be posted on the agenda, and all persons must be able to attend and address the board remotely and at the in-person location of the meeting.
As a reminder, in September 2021, CSBA provided members with information related to AB 361, which provides local agencies with additional teleconferencing options for meetings during a proclaimed State of Emergency such as COVID-19. With the passage of AB 2449, there will be three existing teleconferencing options until the provisions of AB 361 expire in 2024: the traditional teleconferencing option in the Brown Act, the AB 361 teleconferencing option and the AB 2449 teleconferencing option.
The teleconferencing option included in AB 2449 is not available until Jan. 1, 2023, and as a result for the remainder of this year, there are no changes to implement. CSBA will provide more information on AB 2449 in future publications to assist members as they plan for teleconferencing in 2023 and beyond.