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Electronic Government Meetings Disallowed After June 30

NASHVILLE (June 23) — Meetings of governmental bodies must be conducted in person and open to the public. Governor Bill Lee’s Executive Order #34, which allowed government meetings by electronic means, expires June 30, according to a memo by Justin Wilson and Jason Mumpower of the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasurer’s Office.
“Beginning July 1, 2020, Tennessee’s local governing bodies must return to conducting public meetings in a method consistent with the requirements of the Tennessee Open Meetings Act. With few exceptions, members of local governing bodies must be physically present to participate and vote. Actions taken during a meeting that is in violation of the Open Meetings Act are void and of no effect.”
In recent months during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, local governmental bodies conducted their meetings via electronic means to achieve social distancing and comply with ‘safer at home’ standards.
Governmental bodies may continue to use electronic means, such as Facebook Live or Zoom, to allow citizens to listen to the proceedings of the meeting. However, voting members must convene in person to cast votes.

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