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The Voice of the

Commonwealth's Counties

Public Notice and Transparency Bills of Interest

VACo opposes HB 710 (Webert) and SB 549 (Russet Perry), which provide that any travel expense of a local official, as defined in the bill, to be paid from public funds, that is anticipated to exceed $2,500 shall be subject to approval in advance by a vote of the local governing body in an open meeting. The bill specifies that if the final travel expense exceeds the previously approved amount, such expense shall be reported to the governing body and noted in the meeting agenda or meeting minutes within 60 days of the determination. It also requires a local official to repay to the locality any travel expense that the governing body determines such local official misappropriated within 10 days and to furnish a copy of any receipts for such expense at the next public meeting. The bill allows a locality to adopt more stringent standards for local officials’ travel expenses.

VACo supports HB 443 (Williams), HB 1488 (Henson), and SB 413 (Head), which standardize the frequency with which and length of time in which notices of certain meetings, hearings, and other intended actions of localities must be published. The bills also standardizes descriptive information in such notices related to (a) proposing, amending, or repealing ordinances; (b) local budget adoption; and (c) zoning ordinances and planning-related actions.

HB 69 (Bulova) requires the local governing body or elected school board making an interim appointment to fill a vacancy in the membership of such body or board to hold a public meeting at least seven days prior to making such appointment. The bill specifies that at such meeting, the body or board shall announce the names of all persons being proposed for the interim appointment and shall make available for inspection each person’s resume and any other materials required by the body or board.

VACo Contact: Phyllis Errico, Esq., CAE

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