Pandemic redefines 'public' access to government meetings

Photo courtesy of AP Photo/ Steve Helber, File

The coronavirus pandemic is redefining the way the American public interacts with its government.

Posted: Mar 14, 2021 8:19 AM

AP-- The coronavirus pandemic is redefining the way the American public interacts with its government. It wasn't long ago when a public meeting of a city council or state legislature meant that constituents could attend in-person and voice concerns.

Now more public bodies are livestreaming their meetings.

But an Associated Press survey of state legislatures also found that most no longer allow the public inside their chambers. Some still do not allow people to testify remotely at committee hearings.

Some city councils that convene remotely have also done away with verbal input from the public, allowing only written comments.

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