CSAC Bulletin Article

CSAC/UCC Bill on Safe Public Meetings Clears First Hurdle

SB 1100 by Senator Dave Cortese passed out of Senate Governance and Finance Committee today with a 4-1 vote. The bill, which is co-sponsored by the CSAC and the Urban Counties of California, seeks to give local boards tools to curb the increase in disruptive and threatening behavior seen in many local public meetings across the state.

The bill clarifies the rules for when a legislative body can remove individuals for willfully interrupting a meeting. SB 1100 defines “willful interruption” as the intentional behavior of members of the public that substantially limits or makes infeasible a local agency’s ability to conduct a meeting. Expulsion must be preceded by a warning and an opportunity for the individual to correct their behavior.

Regrettably, local agencies throughout California and across the country are experiencing increasing disruptions during public meetings that include repeated interruptions, hate speech, and threats. In particularly troubling instances, other members of the public are targeted by these outbursts simply for expressing opposing views.

This bill will provide counties and other local Brown Act boards tools to help ensure the ability to conduct the people’s business while safeguarding the public’s right to scrutinize the actions of public officials. 

SB 1100 passed on a 4-1 vote and will advance to the Senate Judiciary Committee next.

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