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Sponsored Brown Act Bill Heads to Senate

By Vanessa Gonzales posted 05-22-2023 03:40 PM

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Last week, the California State Assembly took up Assembly Bill 557 (Hart) on the Assembly Floor, providing the chamber the first opportunity for its entire membership to vote on the legislation following its 8-0 passage out of the Assembly Local Government Committee. Assembly Members voted 78-0 in favor of AB 557, sending the bill to the State Senate to make its way through the process in the “upper house” where it is likely to require the review and approval of the Senate Governance and Finance Committee.

AB 557 is joined by Senate Bill 537 (Becker) and Senate Bill 411 (Portantino) in seeking to amend the Ralph M. Brown Act, following the shelving of Assembly Bill 817 (Pacheco) and Assembly Bill 1379 (Papan) for the year.

CSDA is sponsoring AB 557 along with the California State Association of Counties (CSAC), the League of California Cities, and the California School Boards Association (CSBA) to preserve emergency remote meeting procedures added to the Brown Act by Assembly Bill 361 (R. Rivas, 2021).

Absent the successful passage of AB 557, the emergency remote meeting procedures added by AB 361 will expire at the end of this year. AB 557 also makes one minor change to the timeframe for the renewal resolutions required under the AB 361 framework. Currently, the terms of AB 361 require that an agency looking to rely on its provisions beyond 30 days must pass a resolution recognizing that the state of emergency that prompted the transition to remote meetings remains active, and that conditions persist that prevent the agency from holding meetings safely in-person. AB 557 would change this to 45 days.

CSDA is calling on all members to join the more than 120 special districts supporting AB 557.  It’s as easy as authorizing an Automated Form Letter at

CSDA established an entry on its Take Action page for AB 557 to provide districts with the tools to get involved in advocating for the successful passage of the bill. Districts looking to get involved should visit that page in order to review background, access sample materials, and/or authorize a form letter to be sent on the district's behalf in support of AB 557. Districts that choose to submit their own letters directly to the Legislature should transmit a courtesy copy to CSDA at

CSDA will continue to keep members appraised of AB 557’s progress through the Legislature through its Advocacy News blog and eNews newsletters.