Update: State Actions on Remote Legislative Participation

By Sierra Hatfield, CSG Policy Analyst

Executive Summary

This update expands upon previous posts on remote participation in the legislature to provide a more current snapshot of plans for remote participation across all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Table 1 summarizes the types of remote participation utilized by each state.  Changes marked with strikethroughs (x) show outdated information while triple x’s (xxx) show updated information.  States continue to prefer to at least allow participation by tele-means, such as telephone or teleconference.  Only nine states do not currently use remote participation in the legislature.

Five states have updates this week.  They are:

  • Florida
  • Idaho
  • New Hampshire
  • North Dakota
  • West Virginia

Type of Remote Participation by State (updated March 9)

State NoneUndecidedBy ProxyBy Tele-meansBy VideoBy Other Electronic Means
AL     x
AK    x 
AZ     x
CA x    
CO x    
CT   x  
DE   xx 
D.C  x   
FL x    
GA     x
HI   xxx
IL x    
IA x    
KS x    
KY  x xx
LA   x x
MA   xxx
MI     x
MN    xx
MO x    
MT x    
NE x    
NV   xx 
NJ   x x
NM   x x
NY   xx 
NC  xxx 
ND   xx 
OH   xxx
OK  xxx 
OR x    
PA  xx  
RI x    
SC x    
SD   x x
TX x    
UT   xxx
VT x    
VA x    
WA   x  
WI   x  
WY     x

State by State Updates

FL – Florida

Legislative Session Dates: 03/02/21 – 04/30/21

Consideration of Remote Participation: 

ID – Idaho

Legislative Session Dates: 01/11/21 – 03/25/21

Consideration of Remote Participation:

  • Disability rights groups settled a lawsuit with the Legislature last week, negotiating a consent decree that allows people with disabilities to testify remotely in public hearings.

NH – New Hampshire

Legislative Session Dates: 01/06/21 – 01/05/22

Consideration of Remote Participation: 

  • House members have filed an appeal arguing that a U.S. District Court judge was wrong to toss out their lawsuit seeking expanded remote participation guidelines for the two dozen members at most risk for complications due to COVID-19.

ND – North Dakota

Legislative Session Dates: 01/05/21 – 04/28/21

Consideration of Remote Participation: 

  • The state’s implementation of new technology to encourage remote participation has been referred to as a “real success.”

WV – West Virginia

Legislative Session Dates: 01/13/21 – 04/10/21

Consideration of Remote Participation: 

  • Citizens have petitioned for the House to allow remote participation from the public as the Senate has to increase public participation on labor bills and to increase transparency in the legislature.

This analysis was last updated on March 9, 2021. If you have additional information or would like to update the information for your state, please contact Sierra Hatfield via email at [email protected].