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OMA Amendments Allow Additional Flexibility for Remote Attendance and Closed Session

Education K-12 Education

Governor Pritzker recently signed into law Public Act 103-0311 (previously HB 2447), which amends two key provisions in the Open Meetings Act (“OMA”) effective as of July 28, 2023.

First, the Public Act expands the permissible reasons for remote attendance at a meeting to allow for remote attendance due to the elected official’s unexpected childcare obligations. This is in addition to the previously allowable reasons for remote attendance: personal illness or disability, employment purposes or business of the public body, and a family or other emergency. If your board policy permits remote attendance for a qualifying reason under the OMA, an amendment to the policy may be necessary to add this newly authorized reason.

In addition, the Public Act adds an additional exemption to the open meeting requirement, allowing school boards to enter closed session to consider evidence or testimony regarding denial of admission to school events or property pursuant to Section 24-24 of the School Code, provided that the public body prepares and makes available for public inspection a written decision setting forth its determinative reasoning.

If you have any questions regarding Public Act 103-0311 or any OMA matters, please contact one of the authors of this alert or any Franczek attorney.