Publications

Section Newsletter Articles on Open Meetings Act

Investigation exemption under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act By Walter J. Zukowski and Morgan Johnson Education Law, February 2014 The Illinois Attorney General's Office of the Public Access Counselor recently issued an important opinion for schools and other governmental bodies regarding interpretation of a provision of the Illinois Open Meetings Act.
Recent litigation Local Government Law, January 2014 Recent decisions of interest to local government law practitioners.
PAC Opinion report By Ruth A. Schlossberg Local Government Law, December 2013 Recent opinions from the Illinois Attorney General's Public Access Counselor.
Open Meetings Act: A primer By Phillip B. Lenzini Local Government Law, March 2013 This article outlines the Act in a practical manner instead of following its codified order.
You can close the door, but… By Thomas L. Ciecko Government Lawyers, March 2013 Public bodies can close the door to discuss litigation, but the guidelines of the Open Meetings Act must be followed, as the exceptions to having a meeting open to the public are strictly construed against closed meetings.
The PAC muddies the waters: Some thoughts on a recent PAC opinion about closed session discussions, litigation, and final actions By Ruth A. Schlossberg Local Government Law, February 2013 The Illinois Attorney General’s Public Access Counselor issued a new binding opinion on November 5, 2012 involving (among other things) the probable or imminent litigation exception to the Open Meetings Act.
All members of public bodies required to complete Attorney General’s Open Meetings Act training curriculum Government Lawyers, January 2012 Public body members serving in office on January 1, 2012, must complete the training by December 31, 2012. Persons who become members of public bodies after January 1, 2012, must complete the training curriculum within 90 days of assuming office.
Governor signs Freedom of Information Act and Open Meetings Act changes Administrative Law, January 2012 A summary of the new Freedom of Information Act and Open Meetings Act amendments.
Governor signs Freedom of Information Act and Open Meetings Act changes Government Lawyers, October 2011 A summary of the new Freedom of Information Act and Open Meetings Act amendments.
News you can use… The Illinois Open Meetings Act adds a “right to speak” provision Administrative Law, April 2011 The revised language of the Illinois Open Meetings Act.
Right to speak comes to Illinois By Thomas L. Ciecko Government Lawyers, March 2011 A new law amends the Open Meetings Act to allow any person the opportunity to address a public body at a public meeting.
The Appellate Court, Second District, sheds some light on the Open Meetings Act By Phillip B. Lenzini Local Government Law, February 2010 Petitioners were seeking to disconnect their territory within a year of forming this Village and in order to do so had to void in some way an intervening (and apparently “11th hour”) annexation of a parcel that would be rendered dis-contiguous if petitioners’ property was disconnected.
New Illinois Freedom of Information Act and Open Meetings Act amendments By Walter J. Zukowski and Anthony R. Phelps Education Law, February 2010 The Freedom of Information Act and the Open Meetings Act have received substantial press as a result of SB 189, recently signed by Governor Quinn.
Does the Illinois Open Meetings Act violate the First Amendment? By Peter Friedman and Stewart Weiss Local Government Law, December 2009 A federal appellate court has recently held that the enforcement of one of the cornerstone provisions of the Illinois Open Meetings Act (“Illinois OMA”)—that a majority of the quorum is the trigger for a meeting under the Act—is subject to a legal standard that may make it very difficult for this and similar provisions in other states to withstand constitutional scrutiny.
Transparency and the Open Meetings Act By Maryann Bullion Local Government Law, April 2009 Despite the fact that the Supreme Court recognized the need for transparent government in 1860, this policy was not codified as the Open Meetings Act until 1957, and the Freedom of Information Act was not enacted by the legislature until 1984.
The Open Meetings Act – Informality can be harmful to your legal health By John H. Brechin Local Government Law, December 2008 Wyman v. Schweighart involved a complaint alleging the Defendants violated the Open Meetings Act in five different ways.
Statutory Changes, 94th and 95th General Assemblies By William A. Price Administrative Law, August 2008 This review notes revisions to the Administrative Procedure Act, Administrative Review Law, Freedom of Information Act, and Open Meetings Act in the 94th and 95th General Assemblies, based on keyword searches using the words of each of the above act’s titles in the Illinois General Assembly public acts database.
Are employment contracts a matter of record and available under FOIA? By Marc Christopher Loro Administrative Law, June 2008 This article examines the applicable FOIA provisions, and the appellate court’s reasoning and holding that the contracts must be disclosed.
The Illinois Open Meetings Act: Client communications to counsel while the door is closed By Patrick M. Kinnally General Practice, Solo, and Small Firm, May 2008 The purpose of the Illinois Open Meetings Act is to ensure the work of public bodies be patent and candid.
What became of Rice? By Maryann Bullion Administrative Law, January 2008 In 2002, the Fourth District Appellate Court heard an issue of first impression and narrowed the scope of local government law, Rice v. Board of Trustees of Adams County.
Closed sessions “wholly dedicated” to discussion of leasing property allowed under the Open Meetings Act By James W. Chipman Government Lawyers, December 2007 On July 18, 2007, the second district appellate court held that two meetings closed to the public for the purpose of discussing the lease of property owned by a public body did not violate the Open Meetings Act.
The Open Meetings Act: Recent amendments and cases By Donald A. LoBue Administrative Law, May 2007 There are many local governments in the State of Illinois.
E-mail use—When does it constitute a meeting? By John H. Brechin Administrative Law, April 2007 Public Act 94-1058 effective January 1, 2007, amends the Open Meetings Act and specifically authorizes members of a public body to attend meetings of that public body without being physically present at the site of the meeting.
The Open Meetings Act: Recent amendments and cases By Donald A. LoBue General Practice, Solo, and Small Firm, February 2007 There are many local governments in the State of Illinois.
E-mail use—When does it constitute a meeting? By John H. Brechin Local Government Law, January 2007 Public Act 94-1058 effective January 1, 2007, amends the Open Meetings Act and specifically authorizes members of a public body to attend meetings of that public body without being physically present at the sight of the meeting.
Recent case By Paul E. Freehling Administrative Law, September 2005 The recent Fourth District opinion in Henry v. Anderson, No. 04-04-0867 (Apr. 18, 2005), is a rare example of an appellate court ruling that Section 2a of the Illinois Open Meetings Act, 5 ILCS 120/2a, was violated. 
High-tech hits home: Can local government officials use electronic communication tools without violating the sunshine laws? By Hon. Alfred M. Swanson Jr. and Sharon L. Eiseman Administrative Law, July 2003 It is the public policy of this State that public bodies exist to aid in the conduct of the people's business and that the people have a right to be informed as to the conduct of their business
High-tech hits home: Can local government officials use electronic communication tools without violating the sunshine laws?* By Hon. Alfred M. Swanson Jr. and Sharon L. Eiseman Government Lawyers, May 2003 It is the public policy of this State that public bodies exist to aid in the conduct of the people's business and that the people have a right to be informed as to the conduct of their business.
High-tech hits home: Can local government officials use electronic communication tools without violating the sunshine laws? By Hon. Alfred M. Swanson Jr. and Sharon L. Eiseman Local Government Law, February 2003 It is the public policy of this State that public bodies exist to aid in the conduct of the people's business and that the people have a right to be informed as to the conduct of their business.
Opening the Meetings Act to reality—abolishing the “Rule of Two” By Richard G. Flood and Stewart H. Diamond Administrative Law, October 2001 Currently the Act prohibits the exercise of free speech between elected officials on public bodies containing five or fewer members. This stifles creativity in solving public problems and inhibits debate and frank discussion of the issues. Officials cannot test their assumptions and data in advance of a public forum.