Whitmer extends order for virtual public meetings
LANSING — Governor Whitmer has signed Executive Order 2020-154, which extends previous executive orders to provide temporary alternative means to conduct public meetings, conduct administrative proceedings, and provide the required notice under tax abatement statutes.
“COVID-19 is still present in Michigan, and I am committed to using every tool at my disposal to protect Michiganders from the virus,” said Governor Whitmer. “By consolidating and extending these orders, we can ensure that state and local governments can continue to provide important services in a manner that is safe, effective, and accessible. We have made progress in slowing the spread of COVID-19, but it is not over yet. I encourage everyone to do their part by wearing a mask and maintaining six feet of physical distance when possible.”
Under Executive Order 2020-154, all three previous orders are consolidated and extended to protect the public health and safety of Michiganders. The new order:
– Allows public bodies subject to the Open Meetings Act, including boards, commissions, committees, subcommittees, authorities, councils and nonprofit boards, to use telephone- or video-conferencing methods to continue meeting and conducting business during the COVID-19 public health crisis, so long as they follow certain procedures to ensure meaningful access and participation by members of the public body and the general public.
– Allows notice of any public hearing required to take place under a tax abatement statute to be provided electronically and by newspaper.
– Allows the Michigan Employment Relations Commission, Unemployment Insurance Agency, and other administrative hearings to be held by video conference or phone in place of in-person hearings.
Executive Orders 2020-129, 2020-132 and 2020-141 are rescinded with Executive Order 2020-154 remaining in effect during any state of emergency or disaster associated with COVID-19, and for 28 days thereafter to the extent necessary for public bodies to schedule remote meetings and hearings.