FOI Advisory Council subcommittee on e-meetings


VPA's initial objection was that the section eliminated the quorum requirement and said members could participate regardless of whether the public could attend.

It seemed that DEQ was creating for itself a lower bar than anyone else conducting electronic meetings.

Sticking point with DEQ is really the quorum issue.

DEQ explains that it wants a second level of review for water board decisions. These are gatekeeper decisions about who will make the substantive decision. DEQ's previous expierence with the air board made them decide that additional review could slow the whole process down. It was an 11th hour decision to add an exception to FOIA so that we could convene this extra level of review in a timely manner. Members are from all over the state and the meeting might only be 15 minutes long, and didn't actually affect the substantive decision on whethr a permit should be issue.

There were so many people working on the bill and reopening it will be dangerous unless we can reach consensus.

Differentiates between public hearings and public meetings. Quorum requirement is defined in another section as a majority of the board, which is 4. Transacting public business.

Sen. Houck and others think it's almost not really worth doing anything unless everyone agrees. GA won't go for it after all the work done last year. He says that even when also taking into account that we're talking only about the public access portions, and not the entire process and subject matter of the bill.

E.M. Miller wonders about doing anything at all if it means risking the credibility of FOIA or the FOIA Council. Craig Fifer counters that it might give us the chance to bolster the council's credibility and to stand up to FOIA.

Public access will be available?
Prohibiting other business from taking place?
Restating quorum requirement to bring in FOIA?

A draft will be circulated to the committee and the other stakeholders. This is part of the process, though, and not a commitment to doing anything one way or the other.

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