Local school boards will be forced to take public comment by a bill approved by an Indiana House committee Wednesday.
The measure, HB 1130, requires at least three minutes per person of public testimony at every in-person meeting. That's more time than committee chairs at the General Assembly sometimes allow for particularly busy hearings.
The original bill would have required public comment at meetings of the governing body of any state or local public agency, like city and county councils.
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But a change in committee limited the bill to just school board meetings. Bill author Rep. Tim O’Brien (R-Evansville) said it’s good public policy.
“This allows for the school board to take reasonable steps to maintain order in their meetings, including the removal of any person who is willfully disruptive in the meeting,” O'Brien said.
Contentious school board meetings over the last year saw some boards limit or restrict public comments.
No one from the public testified on the bill. It passed unanimously, now heading to the full House.