AB 648 – Virtual Meetings
» Posted October 5, 2023 News
Assembly Bill 648 (AB 648) was signed into law on September 22, 2023, and is a giant leap for the legislature in recognizing that not all technology should be feared. This new law includes specific declarations by the legislature indicating that virtual meetings “improve and enhance homeowner members’ ability to participate and comment on business-related matters of the association and their community.” For years there has been a concern that virtual meetings may disenfranchise those without the ability to master telephonic or videoconference technology. This new law clearly recognizes that those fears are outweighed by the greater good, which is that virtual meetings allow for greater access for all members. This law becomes effective January 1, 2024.
There is of course a catch. In allowing 100% virtual meetings, the legislature has held on to what it believes are valid protections against abuse. (Virtual meetings need to be conducted in a manner that offers every member and director access equal to that offered by conventional meetings.
A new section 4926 will be added to the Civil Code, which will allow a membership or board meeting to be conducted solely without a physical location, except for meetings in which ballots will be tabulated, which would require a physical location where the ballot tabulation can be viewed by members.
A virtual meeting may be conducted but only if the following conditions are met:
- The notice for the meeting must include the content required for a conventional meeting, and must also include all of the following: (a) clear technical instructions on how to participate by teleconference, (b) the telephone number and e-mail address of a person who can provide technical assistance with the teleconference process, both before and during the meeting, and (c) a reminder that a member may request individual delivery of meeting notices, with instructions on how to do so.
- All directors and members must have the same ability to participate in the meeting that would exist if the meeting were held in person.
- Any vote of the directors shall be conducted by a roll call vote.
- Any person who is entitled to participate in the meeting shall be given the option of participating by telephone.