The Illinois General Assembly recently introduced three bills of interest to local governments. If passed, the bills would amend the notice and remote meetings provisions of the Open Meetings Act.
SB 482, if passed, would expand the alternative procedure for conducting remote meetings of public bodies by removing the current requirement that the State must have issued a disaster declaration before public bodies are authorized to hold remote meetings. The bill also allows a public body to hold a remote meeting if the head of a public body determines either (1) that an in-person meeting is not practical or prudent or (2) that conducting an audio or video conference is in the best interest of the public body. The bill would also require that the public notice for the meeting include language that the chair of the public body has determined that an in-person meeting is not practical or prudent or that conducting an audio or video conference is in the best interests of the public body.
HB 2830 proposes to amend the OMA to prohibit public bodies from conducting a closed meeting by audio or video conference. If passed, a public body could only conduct a closed meeting with the physical presence of a quorum of the public body members.
HB 2819, if passed, would require that if a change is made concerning a public body’s regular meeting dates, times, or locations (currently, the statute only references a change in dates), the public body must provide at least 10 days’ notice of the change by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the area where the public body functions. If passed, the bill also permits a public body to provide at least 10 days’ notice of a change made to its regular meeting dates, times, or locations on the public body’s website in addition to providing notice in a newspaper, or in lieu of providing notice in a newspaper if the public body does not have a newspaper of general circulation in the area where the public body functions.
These bills have not yet been voted on, but we will keep you posted if they move forward.
Post Authored by Eugene Bolotnikov, Ancel Glink