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Pennsylvania Lawmakers Considering Allowing Virtual Meeting Options for Local Governance

Pennsylvania lawmakers are considering how municipalities can continue using virtual meeting programs like Zoom when needed for public meetings. In Pennsylvania, each type of municipality—boroughs, cities, and townships—have different codes or laws. Most codes require that, for a board to hold a meeting, it must have a quorum of board members physically present. Outside of emergency orders, fully virtual meetings are not allowed. The exception is the second class township code which is silent on whether members must be physically present. A quorum is the minimum number of board members required to hold a meeting. For example, a board of seven may need at least four members present in order to meet or make decisions. If only three people show up in person, the meeting is canceled. As long as a quorum is physically present, other members could appear virtually. Before COVID-19, county commissioners, township boards, and city and borough councils held …

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