Hewitt Advances Access and Transparency Legislation
Published 9:41 am Thursday, April 20, 2023
BATON ROUGE, LA – The Senate and Governmental Affairs Committee today approved SB 201, sponsored by Majority Leader Sharon Hewitt, who also chairs the committee. The bill establishes guidelines for a statewide board, commission, or advisory council to provide remote access for the public to participate in the meetings.
If passed, the legislation provides for teleconference or videoconference access to Louisianans who would not otherwise be able to attend these meetings.
“This legislation provides a mechanism for public comment and participation for Louisianans who may not be able to attend meetings.” Sharon said. “Giving access to those who may have a disability or lack the means to travel will go a long way to restoring people’s faith in their government.”
In addition, statewide public bodies that meet a minimum of six times per year will be allowed to hold some meetings remotely, improving the participation rate of board members who travel longer distances to attend in-person meetings. The proposed law also authorizes the La. Commission for the Deaf, La. Developmental Disabilities Council, and state and regional advisory councils of the Office for Citizens with Developmental Disabilities to conduct any meeting via electronic means.