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Hoops Pushes for Transparency and Safety in Public Hearings

March 2, 2021
James M. Hoops News

State Rep. Jim Hoops (R-Napoleon) has introduced and given testimony on bipartisan legislation, House Bill 43 – it allows a public body to meet and hold hearings via teleconference or video conference. Hoops is the joint sponsor of the bill along with State Rep. Lisa Sobecki (D-Toledo).

“Since going through the COVID-19 pandemic and due to improvements in technology, we have found a way to hold public meetings via teleconference or video conference in a transparent way,” said Hoops. “In fact, last year, the 133rd General Assembly allowed through legislation the option for a public body to hold a public meeting via teleconference or video conference and I feel it has gone very well.”

House Bill 43 will allow both public input and viewing during these types of meetings. Additionally, the legislation gives a public body another option to ensure a quorum is present in order to conduct business for the meeting.

“In fact, I became interested in this legislation last year when a good friend of mine and a friend of many of you, former State Representative Tim Brown came to me and explained the challenges of bringing a quorum together to even have an official meeting where they could vote on policies,” Hoops mentioned during committee testimony on the bill.

The bill currently has 15 cosponsors and has had one hearing in the House Government Oversight Committee.