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Illinois Open Meetings Act Amended: Closed Session Exception Expanded

K-12 Education Publications

Effective August 26, 2019, the Illinois Open Meetings Act has been amended, expanding the closed meeting exception to include discussion of personnel matters of independent contractors or volunteers in a closed meeting. The exception found in 5 ILCS 120/2(c)(1) now provides that a public body may discuss, “the appointment, employment, compensation, discipline, performance or dismissal of specific individuals who serve as independent contractors in a park, recreational, or educational setting, or specific volunteers of the public body.” The amended language also allows for hearing testimony on a complaint lodged against “a specific individual who serves as an independent contractor in a park, recreational, or educational setting, or a volunteer of the public body.” Previously, the closed meeting exception applied only to specific employees and legal counsel. As always, public bodies should read and follow the Open Meetings Act carefully and seek outside counsel for support as needed.