To our friends, clients and colleagues in local and regional government, higher education and the nonprofit sector, welcome to our latest Monday Message from the Public Law Group at McDonald Hopkins. In today’s email, assembled by attorneys Margaret O’Bryon, Amy Wojnarwsky and Kevin Butler, you’ll find insights into areas of law we are watching on your behalf.
In today’s edition:
- In our monthly segment, ‘5 Questions With’ Lorain Mayor Jack Bradley
- More public deliberations by Zoom? New bills would permit remote meetings permanently
- SEC launches its Climate and ESG Task Force
In our monthly segment, ‘5 Questions With’ Lorain Mayor Jack Bradley
In today’s edition of the Monday Message, we are excited to continue our series, “5 Questions With” – a monthly segment in which we ask local, regional and statewide leaders to pass along their wisdom on items of current and lasting interest, all in a brief, easy-to-read format.
For our latest installment, we’ve asked Jack Bradley, the first-term mayor of the City of Lorain who took on the post after a long and distinguished legal career, to offer a very personal and warmhearted view of his hometown. Bradley provides insights on how the recently-passed American Rescue Plan will yield transformative results in Lorain, whose downtown is experiencing a revitalization (with more to come, he hopes, along the lakefront); how Lorain’s rich tapestry of women leaders advances the city today; and how fact-finding missions to discover hidden gems in Lorain and elsewhere are generating best practices and a renewed civic pride. Among the many happy byproducts: his musician daughter’s song “Lorain Proud” has become anthemic around town.
Read more from Bradley here or click the banner above.
More public meetings by Zoom? New bills would permit remote deliberations permanently
Public officials who have grown accustomed to attending public meetings remotely during the state’s temporary pandemic-related relaxation of the Open Meetings Act may find reason to cheer a set of bills recently introduced in the Ohio House of Representatives. Each bill would permanently revise the portion of the law allowing only in-person attendance at public meetings.
H.B. 77 is the more limited of the two bills. It would permit individual public college and university trustees, who ordinarily meet in person under the Open Meetings Act, to attend up to half of their board meetings remotely provided the board permits remote attendance by rule. It will receive its second committee hearing this week.
The more expansive bill is H.B. 43, which if passed would modify R.C. 121.22 to authorize all public meetings covered by the Open Meetings Act to be held by phone or videoconference, so long as the public has an opportunity to “observe and hear the discussions and deliberations of all the members of the public body, whether the member is participating in person or electronically.” H.B. 43 was heard in the House Government Oversight Committee in February over little objection, but is not yet scheduled for a second hearing.
Both measures were introduced with bipartisan support. We will follow them and post the outcome here, which would ostensibly be determined before the temporary measures expire on July 1.
SEC launches its Climate and ESG Task Force
On March 4, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced the creation of a 22-member Climate and ESG Task Force in the Division of Enforcement. The creation of the task force comes at a time when consumers are prioritizing, and expecting companies to demonstrate, a focus on key social issues that align with their values including ESG-related priorities. Today Amy Wojnarwsky and Sarah Mancuso provide an overview of the task force. Read more from Amy and Sarah here and stay tuned for future Monday Messages regarding the task force.
Feel free to contact any member of the McDonald Hopkins Public Law team if you have questions or need assistance on any of the matters we’ve covered above or with your legal needs in general.
Teresa Metcalf Beasley
Chair, Public Law