Open Budgetary Meetings Amid a Pandemic: Assessing Connecticut’s Various Pathways to Public Engagement During COVID-19


This qualitative analysis of public participation in Connecticut open meetings highlights how Connecticut communities adjusted when the state’s open meeting law was temporarily revised under emergency order during COVID-19. A survey of officials in 95 municipalities found a majority had the same or more participation in budget deliberations during that time. Only about a quarter saw decreased public participation. A closer look at four communities highlights specific challenges and successes during the sudden shift in public meetings. Connecticut’s varied forms of government give multiple perspectives, which can provide insight for other communities looking to expand virtual access to open meetings.