AG Neronha issues guidance on OMA requirements

following the expiration of Executive Order 21-72


PROVIDENCE, RI – The Office of the Attorney General has received several inquiries related to the expected expiration of Executive Order 21-72, which provides for virtual and hybrid meetings of public bodies during the COVID-19 state of emergency. That Executive Order is set to expire at the end of the day today, and the Governor has indicated that it will not be renewed.


After the Executive Order expires, meetings of public bodies must conform to the requirements of the Open Meetings Act (OMA). However, many public bodies and individuals have questions related to returning to in-person meetings, particularly considering the widespread adoption of technologies and platforms that facilitate virtual access and participation.


In anticipation of the expiration of the Executive Order, we have developed guidance to provide clarity on the requirements of the OMA, for both members of public bodies and members of the public.


The guidance clarifies that:


  • Members of the Public Body Must Attend Meetings In Person
  • Members of the Public Must Be Permitted In Person to Attend Open Meetings
  • Public Bodies May Live stream Their Meetings to the Public
  • Public Bodies May Permit Members of the Public to Participate Remotely in Open



Access the full guidance document on our web site here.




The White House is defending its vaccine mandate. Speaking to reporters, COVID coordinator Jeff Zients [[ ZYE-entz ]] said roughly 210-million Americans have received at least one COVID vaccine shot. Zients said, "Vaccine requirements work."       A survey out of the University of Michigan shows consumers are bracing themselves for the least favorable economic prospects in over a decade. While the university's consumer sentiment index rose slightly in early September, it still remains near its lowest level since the height of the pandemic. The survey's chief economist says high prices for homes, vehicles and durable goods are keeping buying attitudes near record lows.        A new study shows woman were responsible for nearly half of all gun sales since the start of 2019. The National Firearms Survey found that about three-and-a-half-million women became gun owners since January of 2019. That's nearly equal to the number of men who purchased a firearm.        A group of people are being charged after allegedly assaulting a New York City restaurant hostess after she asked them to show proof of vaccination. The alleged attackers were three women who were visiting the city from Texas. New York City has a vaccine mandate that demands all diners show proof of a vaccination card before being let into indoor restaurants, clubs, movie theaters, museums and health clubs.        Investigators are looking into other deaths in connection with the family murders of a South Carolina attorney. Alex Murdaugh's wife and son were killed in June and now police are investigating the death of the family's housekeeper Gloria Satterfield. CNN reports, the sons trusted Murdaugh to bring a wrongful death lawsuit against himself after Satterfield died in a trip and fall accident at the Murdaugh home in 2018.       There's a ton of cash up for grabs in tonight's Mega Millions drawing. The jackpot stands at 405 million bucks, with the cash option just shy of 295 million. If that doesn't work out for you, Saturday's Powerball drawing is currently worth a whopping 457 million dollars.