Amends GS 143-318.13 to allow public bodies in Winston-Salem to conduct official meetings with simultaneous communication (defined in GS 143-318.10 to mean any communication by conference telephone or electronic means). Requires rules of procedure that govern the meeting to be adopted by the body before conducting an official meeting with simultaneous communication. Sets out five issues that must be addressed by the rules, including the means by which the public can listen to or watch the meeting. Requires a member of the public body participating from a remote location by simultaneous communication to be counted as present for quorum purposes, and requires all votes of members made during an official meeting with simultaneous communication to be counted as if the members were physically present at the official meeting if all specified nine conditions are met, including: the members of the public body participating from a remote location by simultaneous communication can hear what is said by the other members of the public body and by any individual addressing the public body, the vote of the members participating in the public meeting from a remote location by simultaneous communication is not participating by electronic mail, and no written ballots are taken at the official meeting with members participating from a remote location by simultaneous communication. Provides that the chair, mayor pro tempore, or presiding officer of the public body participating from a remote location by simultaneous communication retains the same voting rights he or she has when presiding. The quorum and meeting provisions do not apply if the official meeting is an emergency meeting.
Deletes the provision concerning a $25 per listener fee charged when providing a location and means for the public to listen to an official meeting of a public body meeting via conference call or other electronic means.
Requires a public body holding an official meeting by use of simultaneous communication to provide a location and means whereby members of the public may listen to the official meeting and requires the notice of the official meeting that is required to specify that location.
Requires the ballots to be available for public inspection in the office of the clerk or secretary to the public body immediately following the meeting at which the vote took place and until the minutes of that official meeting (was, meeting) are approved.
Prohibits the members of a public body from acting on any matter by reference to a letter, number, or other designation or other secret device or method with the intention of making it impossible for persons attending an official meeting (was, a meeting) of the public body to understand what is being deliberated, voted, or acted upon.
Effective October 1, 2015, and ratifies any vote taken by a public body in the City of Winston‑Salem that included a member voting by simultaneous communication by conference telephone or other electronic means before that date.
Status: Ref To Com On Rules and Operations of the Senate (Senate Action) (Mar 10 2015)
Bill S 203 (2015-2016)Summary date: Mar 9 2015 - More information