Reed Smith In-depth

On September 13, 2022, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed California Assembly Bill 2449 (AB 2449) into law. With an effective date of January 1, 2023, AB 2449 imposes four periods of differing rules on remote access to, and member attendance of, local agency public meetings under the Ralph M. Brown Act (Brown Act). This client alert provides a summary of the differing rules for the four specified periods and provides some practical considerations.

Brown Act Teleconferencing Rules Over the Next Five Year

Now until Jan. 1, 2023 – Traditional Brown Act Rules and AB 361

AB 2449 was not passed as an urgency legislation and has an effective date of January 1, 2023. Until its effective date, the legislative bodies of local public agencies may continue to meet virtually under either:

  1. Traditional Brown Act teleconferencing rules that require a quorum of the legislative body to meet in person in the agency’s jurisdiction, the posting of the members’ remote location on the legislative body’s meeting notice and agenda, and public access to each teleconferencing location; or
  2. AB 361’s abbreviated teleconferencing procedures, which require that the local agency’s legislative body makes the following factual determinations by majority vote to justify remote or virtual meetings:
  • That a proclaimed state of emergency exists, and either:
    • State or local officials have imposed or recommended social distancing measures, or
    • As a result of a proclaimed state of emergency, meeting in person would present imminent risks to the health and safety of attendees.