In March 2020, as Texans worked to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, Gov Abbott suspended certain open-meeting statutes to allow for telephone or videoconference to be used in governmental meetings that are accessible to the public in an effort to reduce in-person meetings (also called “social distancing”) and slow the spread of COVID-19. On June 30, 2021, the governor’s office approved a request by the attorney general to lift those suspensions. The suspensions will lift at 12:01 a.m. on September 1, 2021.
As of September 1, 2021, the City of Azle will no longer provide access to its public meetings via telephone conference as all provisions of the Open Meetings Act will be effective and all Texas governmental bodies subject to the Open Meetings Act must conduct their meetings in full compliance with the Open Meetings Act as written in state law. That means a governmental body (the City of Azle) may not conduct meetings subject to the Act by telephone or videoconference unless a statute expressly authorizes it to do so. Texas Gov't Code Sec. 551.125.