|The Sunshine Act was amended by Act 65 of 2021 providing new requirements for publishing and posting public meeting agendas and new restrictions on when public bodies may vote on at meetings on matters not listed in the published agenda. These Amendments to the Sunshine Act are effective August 29, 2021.|
The agenda is required to contain a listing of each matter of agency business that will be or may be the subject of or deliberation of or official action at the meeting.All government agencies, including but not limited to Counties, Townships, Boroughs, and Authorities, that have a publicly accessible website are required to post meeting agendas on their websites within 24 hours of the meeting. These public meetings would also include local planning commission meetings and all township workshops and committee meetings. In addition to posting the agenda on the local agency’s website, the agenda shall be physically posted at the agency’s principal office/municipal office and the physical location of the meeting. Copies of the agenda shall be available for attendees of the meetings.
Matters under which an agency may take official action if not on the agency’s agenda:
- To address a real or potential “emergency” that involves “a clear and present danger to life or property.”
- To address a matter of agency business that only arose or was brought to the agency’s attention within 24 hours of the meeting.
- To address a “de minimis” matter that does not involve the expenditure of funds or entering into a contract or agreement.
- To direct the Manager to research a matter raised during the meeting by a resident or taxpayer (if “de minimis”, the Board or Council may take action on the matter at that meeting).
- A majority of Board or Council members present at the meeting may vote to add an item to the agenda, and then vote on the added item. In such circumstances,
- (i) the reason for the change to the agenda must be announced publicly at the meeting before conducting a vote to change the agenda,
- (ii) the modified agenda must be published on the agency’s website and posted at the agency’s offices by the first business day following the meeting, and
- (iii) the meeting minutes must reflect the added agenda item, the vote to modify the agenda, and the announced reason for the change.