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With the end of the pandemic, municipalities have been anxious to have certain COVID practices that made governmental operations and licenses less restrictive extended beyond their imminent expiration dates. Yesterday, Governor Healey signed Ch. 2 of the Acts of 2023, to do just that.

Here is a summary of the extensions, effective immediately.

Remote Meetings Extended – The authority to hold public meetings without providing physical access is extended to March 31, 2025. Adequate, alternative means of public access and participation must be provided. All members of the public body may attend remotely. All votes must be by roll call, recorded as such in the meeting minutes, and all attendees must be able to hear one another.

Remote Representative Town Meetings Extended – The Moderator of a town having a representative form of Town Meeting may request that the Select Board call for a fully remote or hybrid Town Meeting until March 31, 2025.

Reduction of Quorum for Any Town Meeting Extended – The Select Board and the Moderator may reduce the quorum for any Town Meeting up until March 31, 2024.

Outdoor Dining and Alcohol Service Extended - Municipalities are allowed to permit outdoor dining and alcohol service notwithstanding zoning and liquor licenses. The expanded licenses are extended until April 1, 2024.

Take-out and Delivery of Alcoholic Beverages Extended – Establishments licensed for on-premises consumption of alcohol may continue to offer take-out and delivery of wine, malt beverages and mixed drinks until April 1, 2024.

Rules for Notaries Public Permanent Changes – There are broad permanent changes to allow notaries public to conduct remote notarization using communication technology.

Please contact us as further questions arise.

We are here to help.

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