Brown Act in a Time of Pandemic: the Governor Vetoes AB 339
On October 7, 2021, Governor Newsom vetoed Assembly Bill (AB) 339 (Lee), a bill aimed at addressing Brown Act teleconferencing requirements for large public entities.
AB 339 sought to add special rules for meetings of city councils or county board of supervisors that govern jurisdictions containing at least 250,000 people. With the Governor's veto of AB 339, these new rules will not be effective. The Governor's veto message explained that AB 339 would set a precedent of tying public access requirements to the population of jurisdictions, a patchwork approach that may lead to public confusion. Further, AB 339 would limit flexibility and increase costs for local agencies. Governor Newsom noted that he remains open to revisions to the Brown Act to modernize and increase public access, while protecting public health and safety.
AB 339's veto does not mean that Brown Act pandemic reform has failed. We previously published an alert explaining that the Governor signed into law as urgency legislation AB 361 (Rivas) to address Brown Act teleconferencing requirements. AB 361 was intended to be a companion bill to AB 339, and now remains the law all on its own.
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