OPEN MEETINGS ACT (EXCERPT)
Act 267 of 1976
15.263 Meetings, decisions, and deliberations of public body; requirements; attending or addressing meeting of public body; COVID-19 safety measures; tape-recording, videotaping, broadcasting, and telecasting proceedings; accommodation of absent members; remote attendance; rules; exclusion from meeting; exemptions.
(1) All meetings of a public body must be open to the public and must be held in a place available to the general public. All persons must be permitted to attend any meeting except as otherwise provided in this act. The right of a person to attend a meeting of a public body includes the right to tape-record, to videotape, to broadcast live on radio, and to telecast live on television the proceedings of a public body at a public meeting. The exercise of this right does not depend on the prior approval of the public body. However, a public body may establish reasonable rules and regulations in order to minimize the possibility of disrupting the meeting. For a meeting of a public body held in person before April 1, 2021, the public body shall do both of the following:
(a) To the extent feasible under the circumstances, ensure adherence to social distancing and mitigation measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for purposes of preventing the spread of COVID-19, including the measure that an individual remain at least 6 feet from anyone from outside the individual's household.
(b) Adopt heightened standards of facility cleaning and disinfection to limit participant exposure to COVID-19, as well as protocols to clean and disinfect in the event of a positive COVID-19 case in the public body's meeting place.
(2) All decisions of a public body must be made at a meeting open to the public. For purposes of any meeting subject to this section, except a meeting of any state legislative body at which a formal vote is taken, the public body shall, subject to section 3a, establish the following procedures to accommodate the absence of any member of the public body due to military duty, a medical condition, or a statewide or local state of emergency or state of disaster declared pursuant to law or charter or local ordinance by the governor or a local official, governing body, or chief administrative officer that would risk the personal health or safety of members of the public or the public body if the meeting were held in person:
(a) Procedures by which the absent member may participate in, and vote on, business before the public body, including, but not limited to, procedures that provide for both of the following:
(i) Two-way communication.
(ii) For each member of the public body attending the meeting remotely, a public announcement at the outset of the meeting by that member, to be included in the meeting minutes, that the member is in fact attending the meeting remotely. If the member is attending the meeting remotely for a purpose other than for military duty, the member's announcement must further identify specifically the member's physical location by stating the county, city, township, or village and state from which he or she is attending the meeting remotely.
(b) Procedures by which the public is provided notice of the absence of the member and information about how to contact that member sufficiently in advance of a meeting of the public body to provide input on any business that will come before the public body.
(3) All deliberations of a public body constituting a quorum of its members must take place at a meeting open to the public except as provided in this section and sections 7 and 8.
(4) A person must not be required as a condition of attendance at a meeting of a public body to register or otherwise provide his or her name or other information or otherwise to fulfill a condition precedent to attendance.
(5) A person must be permitted to address a meeting of a public body under rules established and recorded by the public body. The legislature or a house of the legislature may provide by rule that the right to address may be limited to prescribed times at hearings and committee meetings only.
(6) A person must not be excluded from a meeting otherwise open to the public except for a breach of the peace actually committed at the meeting.
(7) This act does not apply to the following public bodies, but only when deliberating the merits of a case:
(a) The Michigan compensation appellate commission operating as described in either of the following:
(i) Section 274 of the worker's disability compensation act of 1969, 1969 PA 317, MCL 418.274.
(ii) Section 34 of the Michigan employment security act, 1936 (Ex Sess) PA 1, 421.34.
(b) The state tenure commission created in section 1 of article VII of 1937 (Ex Sess) PA 4, MCL 38.131, when acting as a board of review from the decision of a controlling board.
(c) The employment relations commission or an arbitrator or arbitration panel created or appointed under 1939 PA 176, MCL 423.1 to 423.30.
(d) The Michigan public service commission created under 1939 PA 3, MCL 460.1 to 460.11.
(8) This act does not apply to an association of insurers created under the insurance code of 1956, 1956 PA 218, MCL 500.100 to 500.8302, or other association or facility formed under that act as a nonprofit organization of insurer members.
(9) This act does not apply to a committee of a public body that adopts a nonpolicymaking resolution of tribute or memorial, if the resolution is not adopted at a meeting.
(10) This act does not apply to a meeting that is a social or chance gathering or conference not designed to avoid this act.
(11) This act does not apply to the Michigan veterans' trust fund board of trustees or a county or district committee created under 1946 (1st Ex Sess) PA 9, MCL 35.602 to 35.610, when the board of trustees or county or district committee is deliberating the merits of an emergent need. A decision of the board of trustees or county or district committee made under this subsection must be reconsidered by the board or committee at its next regular or special meeting consistent with the requirements of this act. "Emergent need" means a situation that the board of trustees, by rules promulgated under the administrative procedures act of 1969, 1969 PA 306, MCL 24.201 to 24.328, determines requires immediate action.
(12) As used in subsection (2):
(a) "Formal vote" means a vote on a bill, amendment, resolution, motion, proposal, recommendation, or any other measure on which a vote by members of a state legislative body is required and by which the state legislative body effectuates or formulates public policy.
(b) "Medical condition" means an illness, injury, disability, or other health-related condition.
History: 1976, Act 267, Eff. Mar. 31, 1977
Am. 1981, Act 161, Imd. Eff. Nov. 30, 1981
Am. 1986, Act 269, Imd. Eff. Dec. 19, 1986
Am. 1988, Act 158, Imd. Eff. June 14, 1988
Am. 1988, Act 278, Imd. Eff. July 27, 1988
Am. 2016, Act 504, Eff. Apr. 9, 2017
Am. 2018, Act 485, Eff. Mar. 29, 2019
Am. 2020, Act 228, Imd. Eff. Oct. 16, 2020
Am. 2020, Act 254, Imd. Eff. Dec. 22, 2020
Admin Rule: R 35.621 of the Michigan Administrative Code.
© 2020 Legislative Council, State of Michigan