AG Kaul calls for public bodies to remain accessible during pandemic

The Wisconsin Department of Justice under Attorney General Josh Kaul released a new advisory to public bodies regarding public meetings in the age of COVID-19 during Sunshine Week.

To ensure that in-person meetings during the pandemic are reasonably accessible to the public, governmental bodies should keep the public health situation, guidance of public health professionals, and health concerns of the public in mind when making decisions about how open meetings are conducted. Further, governmental bodies are strongly encouraged to make remote access to meetings available through the duration of the pandemic.

The advisory also asks that pandemic practices that promote access should be continued after the pandemic.

By maintaining a remote option for public access to meetings or posting recordings of meetings as soon as practicable after meetings conclude, governmental bodies can advance the open meetings law’s purpose of ensuring government openness and transparency.