New OMA Requirements for Virtual Meetings Are Now Law
On Friday, June 12, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed Public Act 101-640, which, among other things, amends the Open Meetings Act to allow public bodies to hold virtual board meetings without the physical presence of a majority of a quorum of members during a disaster declaration relating to public health concerns. We discussed the details of the legislation in a previous alert. Because the new law became effective upon the Governor’s signature, public bodies must ensure they follow all requirements immediately in any meetings from today forward. Boards should work closely with legal counsel to discuss whether and how to proceed with meetings in compliance with the new requirements.
The below checklist addresses what boards should do to establish compliance with the requirements for virtual meetings under the new amendments.OMA Checklist 6.15.20
For Boards holding a meeting today, June 15, or tomorrow, June 16, and inside the OMA’s 48 hour notice requirement, we advise that the board president at the beginning of the meeting make a public statement as to why an in-person meeting is not prudent. Further, if one member of the public body, the chief legal officer, or chief administrative officer will not be physically present at the meeting, the board president should acknowledge that fact at the meeting and state the absence is due to continuing safety concerns. For any questions, contact the authors of this post or any other Franczek attorney.