130th Ohio General Assembly
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(127th General Assembly)
(Substitute House Bill Number 129)



AN ACT
To authorize for a two-year period a pilot program that allows the members of the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council, the Ohio Statewide Independent Living Council, the Governor's Council on People with Disabilities, and the facility governing board and judicial advisory board that govern or advise on the STAR Community Justice Center in Franklin Furnace, Ohio, to be present at board meetings by teleconference or interactive video teleconference, and to require reports on the effects of member participation in meetings in this manner.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio:

SECTION 1. For a period of two years immediately following the effective date of this act, a pilot program is hereby authorized that allows the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council, the Ohio Statewide Independent Living Council, the Governor's Council on People with Disabilities, and the facility governing board and the judicial advisory board that are created under section 2301.51 of the Revised Code and that are involved in governing and advising on the STAR Community Justice Center located in Franklin Furnace, Ohio, each to adopt a rule that authorizes its members to be present at council or board meetings open to the public by teleconference or interactive video teleconference, in lieu of being present in person at those meetings, in order to be considered present or to vote at those meetings and for purposes of determining whether a quorum is present at those meetings, provided that a minimum of three members must be physically present to participate and to count towards a quorum at those meetings, and provided further that during the second year of the pilot program a council or board shall hold at least one meeting at which members must be physically present to participate and to count towards a quorum. A council or board that desires to allow its members to participate in meetings in this manner shall adopt a rule that does all of the following:

(A) Authorize the participation of the council's or board's members in the pilot program;

(B) Establish a method to authenticate the identity of a member who will be present at those meetings by teleconference or interactive video teleconference;

(C) Establish a policy regarding the distribution and circulation of appropriate documents to the council or board members, the public, and the media in advance of the meeting by teleconference or interactive video teleconference.

SECTION 2. If a rule described in Section 1 of this act is adopted by a council or either or both the facility governing board or the judicial advisory board, the council or the Executive Director of the STAR Community Justice Center shall each submit, not later than eighteen months after the effective date of this act, to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, the President of the Senate, and the Minority Leader of the Senate a report that describes the effects on the operation of the council or board of member participation in council or board meetings by teleconference or interactive video teleconference. The report shall describe any additional costs the council or board incurred, and any cost savings the council or board realized, through member participation in council or board meetings in this manner. The report shall include a description of the notice given of each council or board meeting held during the period of the pilot program, an account of attendance by board members, the public, and the media at each council or board meeting held during the period of the pilot program, summaries or copies of comments by the public and the media concerning council or board meetings held by teleconference or interactive video teleconference, a copy of the minutes and an itemized list of the costs of each meeting held during the period of the pilot program, and an account of local media coverage of council or board meetings held by teleconference or interactive video teleconference.

If any of the recipients of the report determines that the results of the pilot program described in Section 1 of this act could be profitably applied to meetings of all public bodies or only to public bodies whose members must travel long distances to attend meetings of the public body, the recipient may recommend the relevant type of legislation for introduction.

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