N.Y. Public Officers Law Section 103-A
Videoconferencing by public bodies


1.

For the purposes of this section, “local public body” shall mean a public corporation as defined in General Construction Law § 66 (Definitions)section sixty-six of the general construction law, a political subdivision as defined in General Municipal Law § 100 (Definitions)section one hundred of the general municipal law or a committee or subcommittee or other similar body of such entity, or any entity for which a quorum is required in order to conduct public business and which consists of two or more members, performing a governmental function for an entity limited in the execution of its official functions to a portion only of the state, or a political subdivision of the state, or for an agency or department thereof. For the purposes of this section, a public body shall be as defined in subdivision two of § 102 (Definitions)section one hundred two of this article.

2.

A public body may, in its discretion, use videoconferencing to conduct its meetings pursuant to the requirements of this article provided that a minimum number of members are present to fulfill the public body’s quorum requirement in the same physical location or locations where the public can attend and the following criteria are met:

(a)

the governing board of a county, city, town or village has adopted a local law, or a public body has adopted a resolution, or the senate and assembly have adopted a joint resolution, following a public hearing, authorizing the use of videoconferencing:

(i)

for itself and its committees or subcommittees; or, (ii) specifying that each committee or subcommittee may make its own determination;

(iii)

provided however, each community board in a city with a population of one million or more shall make its own determination;

(b)

the public body has established written procedures governing member and public attendance consistent with this section, and such written procedures shall be conspicuously posted on the public website of the public body;

(c)

members of the public body shall be physically present at any such meeting unless such member is unable to be physically present at any such meeting location due to extraordinary circumstances, as set forth in the resolution and written procedures adopted pursuant to paragraphs (a) and (b) of this subdivision, including disability, illness, caregiving responsibilities, or any other significant or unexpected factor or event which precludes the member’s physical attendance at such meeting. Notwithstanding the in person quorum requirements set forth in this subdivision, the public body may determine, through its written procedures governing member and public attendance established pursuant to and consistent with this section, to allow for any member who has a disability as defined in Executive Law § 292 (Definitions)section two hundred ninety-two of the executive law, where such disability renders such member unable to participate in-person at any such meeting location where the public can attend, to be considered present for purposes of fulfilling the quorum requirements for such public body at any meetings conducted through videoconferencing pursuant to this section, provided, however, that the remaining criteria set forth in this subdivision are otherwise met; and provided, further, that the public body maintains at least one physical location where the public can attend such meeting;

(d)

except in the case of executive sessions conducted pursuant to § 105 (Conduct of executive sessions)section one hundred five of this article, the public body shall ensure that members of the public body can be heard, seen and identified, while the meeting is being conducted, including but not limited to any motions, proposals, resolutions, and any other matter formally discussed or voted upon;

(e)

the minutes of the meetings involving videoconferencing shall include which, if any, members participated remotely and shall be available to the public pursuant to § 106 (Minutes)section one hundred six of this article;

(f)

if videoconferencing is used to conduct a meeting, the public notice for the meeting shall inform the public that videoconferencing will be used, where the public can view and/or participate in such meeting, where required documents and records will be posted or available, and identify the physical location for the meeting where the public can attend;

(g)

the public body shall provide that each meeting conducted using videoconferencing shall be recorded and such recordings posted or linked on the public website of the public body within five business days following the meeting, and shall remain so available for a minimum of five years thereafter. Such recordings shall be transcribed upon request;

(h)

if videoconferencing is used to conduct a meeting, the public body shall provide the opportunity for members of the public to view such meeting via video, and to participate in proceedings via videoconference in real time where public comment or participation is authorized and shall ensure that videoconferencing authorizes the same public participation or testimony as in person participation or testimony; and

(i)

a local public body electing to utilize videoconferencing to conduct its meetings must maintain an official website.

3.

The in person participation requirements of paragraph (c) of subdivision two of this section shall not apply during a state disaster emergency declared by the governor pursuant to section twenty-eight of the executive law, or a local state of emergency proclaimed by the chief executive of a county, city, village or town pursuant to Executive Law § 24 (Local state of emergency)section twenty-four of the executive law, if the public body determines that the circumstances necessitating the emergency declaration would affect or impair the ability of the public body to hold an in person meeting.

4.

No later than January first, two thousand twenty-four, the committee on open government, created by paragraph (a) of subdivision one of § 89 (General provisions relating to access to records)section eighty-nine of this chapter, shall issue a report to the governor, the temporary president of the senate, the speaker of the assembly, the chair of the senate standing committee on local government, the chair of the senate standing committee on investigations and government operations, the chair of the assembly standing committee on local governments, and the chair of the assembly standing committee on governmental operations concerning the application and implementation of such law and any further recommendations governing the use of videoconferencing by public bodies to conduct meetings pursuant to this section.

5.

Open meetings of any public body that are broadcast or that use videoconferencing shall utilize technology to permit access by members of the public with disabilities consistent with the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as amended, and corresponding guidelines. For the purposes of this section, “disability” shall have the meaning defined in Executive Law § 292 (Definitions)section two hundred ninety-two of the executive law. * NB Repealed July 1, 2026

Source: Section 103-A — Videoconferencing by public bodies, https://www.­nysenate.­gov/legislation/laws/PBO/103-A (updated May 3, 2024; accessed Jun. 8, 2024).

Accessed:
Jun. 8, 2024

Last modified:
May 3, 2024

§ 103-A’s source at nysenate​.gov

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