Sen. Rob Sampson Statement on Senate Passage of S.B. 5269

April 27, 2022

Sen. Rob Sampson (R-Wolcott), ranking member of the Government Administration and Elections Committee, today issued a statement in opposition of the Senate’s passage of S.B. 5269, which continues a law enacted in response to the Covid pandemic allowing public agencies (boards of education, planning and zoning commissions, etc.) to continue holding remote and hybrid meetings as long as they comply with the requirements under existing law. The legislation is written such that a municipality or public agency may hold a fully-remote public meeting in lieu of an in-person or hybrid (in-person with remote option) meeting format. The current law enabling remote public meetings expires on April 30, 2022.


“Remote public meetings made sense during a pandemic. I have been delighted to participate in remote meetings that have gathered many more participants than before. I encourage all to participate in the government process,” said Senator Sampson.


“However, this bill is a major departure from the status quo. It is not about continuing an additional remote meeting option for the public, but potentially ending in-person meetings for towns that wish to do so. That is unacceptable.


“This legislation further separates local and state officials from the consituents that they represent. Our American system is built on the people’s ability to communicate with their representatives, who work for them. People want the ability to confront their representatives in person and to look them in the eye. In a virtual setting, it is all too easy for a town or state official to simply ‘mute’ the digital version of their constituent, depending on the message. I am not in favor of ‘muting’ my constituents. This is a dangerous proposal and an affront to representative government and our American system,” he said.