Urge Your Legislators to Ensure

Hybrid/Remote Access to Public Meetings

Celebrate Sunshine Week by contacting your State Senator and State Representative and asking them to keep hybrid and remote access available for public meetings.


Last week, Massachusetts lawmakers considered a new and troubling bill, the Governor’s Municipal Empowerment Act, S.2571 – that would undermine our efforts to make public meetings more accessible. It would allow municipal bodies like city councils, select boards, and school committees to hold meetings in any format they please—hybrid, remote-only, or in-person-only. That's especially problematic for people with disabilities, childcare responsibilities, transportation issues, atypical work schedules and others who can't always attend public meetings in person.


It would be a massive step backward to leave the decision whether to provide any kind of remote meeting access completely up to local officials. We have a better bill: H.3040/S.2024 is forward-thinking legislation that would guarantee hybrid participation under the Open Meeting Law with remote access as the default if hybrid technology is not yet available.


Our message to lawmakers: Don't shut people out of the democratic process!


Since the start of the pandemic, when cities and towns started holding remote and hybrid meetings, we've seen an explosion of participation in local government. This has been a tremendous boon for democracy, and now is the time to maximize access, not go backward.


Ask your Senator and Representative to support H.3040/S.2024 to guarantee hybrid/remote participation in local government under the Open Meeting Law.


Here's an email template:


Dear Senator/Representative:


As a member of the League of Women Voters, I’m asking you to support and seek passage of a bill that would update the Open Meeting Law to guarantee hybrid meetings so that all people can attend and participate. Leaving it up to each body to decide how much access to provide for the public will inevitably leave people out.


Filed by Rep. Garlick and Sen. Lewis, H.3040/S.2024, An Act to modernize participation in public meetings, would improve equitable access to open meetings by guaranteeing that members of the public can participate in person or remotely. The bill would also establish a trust fund to help municipalities finance the technology to meet this goal. Read the League’s testimony here.


We need this bill to pass before the emergency provisions of the Open Meeting Law expire in March 2025 so that local boards and committees do not revert to in-person-only meetings. Too many citizens are unable to access or participate in in-person meetings.


Your name and full street address

Questions? Email [email protected].

League of Women Voters of Massachusetts
[email protected] | 857-452-1715| lwvma.org
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