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Commonwealth's Counties

FOIA training bill passes with helpful amendments

The conference committee considered SB 1431 (Obenshain) and agreed with the House amendments giving local government attorneys the authority to conduct Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) training for local elected officials in addition to the option of FOIA Council training. The final bill requires local elected officials to complete FOIA training, either by the local government attorney or through the FOIA Council training that may be online, within two months of taking office and once every two years while in office. No penalty shall be imposed for failing to complete a training session. The bill also eliminates the three-day notice requirement for a hearing alleging an open meeting violation of the act. The bill has a delayed effective date of July 1, 2020.

VACo Contact: Phyllis Errico, Esq., CAE

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