Mae Flexer

State Senator

Mae Flexer

Deputy President Pro Tempore & Federal Relations Liaison

An Advocate for Us

April 27, 2022

Sen. Flexer Leads Senate Passage of Bill Allowing Continuation of Remote Public Meetings

HARTFORD – State Senator Mae Flexer today led Senate passage of a bill that will allow town and state agencies and committees to continue to hold remote public meetings if they wish, as they have been doing for the past two years during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Without today’s action, city and town and state agencies would have been forced to revert to in-person only meetings beginning this Sunday, May 1.

“What we’ve seen over the past two years during the pandemic – despite some early concerns about how remote, online public meetings would work – is that they have been embraced by the public and that they actually allow more of the public to participate than if we held in-person meetings only,” said Sen. Flexer, who as Senate Chair of the Government Administrations and Elections Committee is well-versed in issues affecting our democracy and public participation. “This bill opens our government up to more people and allows more people to participate in it. And the decision of whether to hold in-person or online meetings, or some combination of both, is left entirely up to a local agency.”

The bill, House Bill 5269, “An Act Concerning Remote Meetings Under The Freedom of Information Act,” received widespread support at its public hearing from groups such as the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education, the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, the Connecticut Council of Small Towns, the Council on Freedom of Information and the ACLU of Connecticut.

In a survey conducted by the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, 90% of more than 230 municipal stakeholders surveyed said they preferred retaining the option of these remote and hybrid meetings.

With today’s Senate vote, the bill now heads to the governor’s desk for his signature into law.