AG Neronha issues guidance on OMA requirements


following today’s Executive Order 22-01



PROVIDENCE, RI – Attorney General Peter F. Neronha provided guidance today for Rhode Islanders who might have questions concerning Executive Order 22-01, which modifies certain provisions of the Open Meetings Act (OMA) as part of the State’s emergency response to COVID-19. This Executive Order, issued earlier today by Governor Daniel J. McKee, is in place until February 4, 2022, unless renewed, modified, or terminated by subsequent executive order.


Like the prior Executive Order pertaining to the OMA that expired on July 23, 2021, Executive Order 22-01 permits meetings to be held virtually for any purpose and makes clear that public bodies must provide remote access to their meetings, even if they are able to convene in person.


What has changed?


·                     Public bodies may now conduct meetings by telephone or audio or video conferencing, provided that the public body ensures public access to the meeting through adequate, alternative means (such as telephone or video conferencing).


·                     Any adequate alternative means of public access must be provided for free.


·                     Adequate alternative means for public access must be provided even if the members of the public body are able to convene in person.


The complete guidance and list of changes is available on the RIAG web site here.


Former President Trump claims Democrats are using the Texas school massacre to advance their political agenda. While addressing the NRA convention in Houston, he claimed President Biden said Republicans are "OK" with school shootings. He pressed for more cops at schools and more security measures at schools, including teachers with guns.        Texas Governor Greg Abbott says he was misled and livid about the police response to the Uvalde [[ yoo-VAHl-dee ]] school shooting massacre. Abbott told reporters information he was given by investigators yesterday was wrong. He added, "people deserve answers." Police admitted they waited for nearly an hour for reinforcements before breaching the classroom door where the gunman was holed up.        Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky [[ VLO-doe-meer ze-LEN-skee ]] wants the governments of Western nations to impose tougher sanctions on Moscow to end its war on Ukraine. In a late-night address Thursday Zelensky said the ongoing destruction and death could be stopped if what he called the powers that be "did not play around with Russia but really pressed to end the war." He complained about disagreements within the European Union on more sanctions against Russia.        The U.S. and Taiwan are reportedly planning economic talks despite warnings from China. Taiwanese officials told CNN the two countries could start talking "in a few weeks." The goal is to create more significant trade and better economic cooperation between Taiwan and the U.S.        Massachusetts General Hospital has begun vaccinating a limited number of workers for monkeypox. All of the vaccinated workers had direct contact with a man who was at the hospital for eight days this month and tested positive for monkeypox. This marks the first time the monkeypox vaccine has been used in the U.S. outside of clinical trials.        Top Gun: Maverick is having a record opening that will continue into Memorial Day weekend. The hit sequel is poised to earn over one-hundred-forty-two-million dollars over the holiday weekend, breaking the previous box office record held by Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End. It's predicted to be the biggest and best opening weekend for actor Tom Cruise, who will celebrate his 60th birthday in just over a month.