Source: Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP
Recently approved Senate Bill No. 554 amends the Pennsylvania Sunshine Act, 65 Pa.C.S. §§ 701-716, to bring additional transparency to government decision-making. Currently, the Sunshine Act requires political subdivisions/agencies to deliberate and take official action on agency business in an open and public meeting. The Sunshine Act requires that meetings have prior notice as to the date, time and place of the meeting and that the public can attend, participate and comment before an agency takes official action. Senate Bill No. 554, which was approved by Governor Wolf on June 30, 2021 and is effective on August 29, 2021 (sixty (60) days after its approval), requires that agencies not only provide notice of their meetings, but now also must make their meeting agenda available to the public and once the meeting agenda is finalized, the agency may not take any official action on any items not listed on such notice, except in emergency situations or to consider matters de minimis in nature.