Governor Abbott Lifts Suspension of Certain Texas Open Meetings Act Provisions

July 30, 2021 | Insights

As companies of all types and sizes continue to deal with the potential legal implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for their businesses, Jackson Walker provides insights and resources on the COVID-19 Legal Resources & Insights site.

By Kate Goodrich

At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, on March 16, 2020, at the Attorney General’s request, Governor Greg Abbott utilized Section 418.016 of the Government Code to suspend certain requirements of the Texas Open Meetings Act (TOMA) in light of the ongoing COVID-19 emergency.

The Governor suspended multiple provisions of TOMA in order to allow videoconference or telephonic meetings, including provisions that required a quorum of the governing body to be physically present at the specified location of the meeting and provisions that might be interpreted to require face-to-face interaction between members of the public and public officials. A list of the suspended provisions is available here, and a copy of the Governor’s suspension letter can be found here.

On June 30, 2021, Governor Abbott’s office approved a request by the Office of the Attorney General to lift these suspensions of certain provisions of the Texas Open Meetings Act.  The suspensions will lift at 12:01 a.m. on September 1, 2021. Therefore, as of September 1, all provisions of the Open Meetings Act will be effective and all Texas governmental bodies subject to the Open Meetings Act must conduct their meetings in full compliance with the Open Meetings Act as written in statute.

More to Come

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For questions about how you or your business could potentially be impacted, please contact a Jackson Walker attorney.

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Please note: This article and any resources presented on the JW Coronavirus Insights & Resources site are for informational purposes only, do not constitute legal or medical advice, and are not a substitute for legal advice from qualified counsel. The laws of other states and nations may be entirely different from what is described. Your use of these materials does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Jackson Walker. The facts and results of each case will vary, and no particular result can be guaranteed.

In This Story

Kate Goodrich
Governmental Affairs Consultant, Austin