Extend Official Proceeding Protections to Local Governments

On March 8, 2022, Legislative Director Kevin Kinnally testified before the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee in support of SB 790 – Criminal Law – Executive or Legislative Proceedings – Obstruction with amendments. Current law protects the official proceedings of state courts from interference or impediment. SB 790, as written, would extend those protections to the state’s executive and legislative branches. MACo seeks an amendment to extend this provision to apply to local governing bodies.

From the MACo testimony:

This bill would make it a misdemeanor to seek to impede the business of the executive or legislative branches through threat, force, or corrupt means. Current law already imposes this standard for interference of court proceedings and SB 790 further recognizes the importance of governing bodies conducting public affairs. The bill does not apply to mere dissent, debate, or opposition to policies, but to a higher standard of actual interference.

The rationale for the bill applies equally to local governing bodies and their own proceedings. MACo requests amendment language to add local governing bodies to this section of state law.

MACo testified on the bill’s crossfile, HB 427, on February 8, 2022.

More on MACo’s Advocacy:

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2022 legislative session on MACo’s Legislative Tracking Database.
Learn more about MACo’s 2022 Legislative Initiatives.
Read more General Assembly News on MACo’s Conduit Street blog.