A press release from State Rep. David McSweeney:
McSweeney’s Open Meetings Act Passes the House
Cary, IL… State Representative David McSweeney (R-Barrington)’s legislation aimed at giving citizens greater transparency in local government received bipartisan support in the House last Thursday.
The bill to amend the Open Meetings Act passed the House with both bipartisan support and support from the Attorney General’s office. The bill passed 110-0.
The Open Meetings Act, a law that was designed to ensure that the public has access to information about government and its decision-making process, requires that meetings of public bodies be open to the public except in certain specific, limited situations. The law also requires that the public be given advance notice of the time, place, and subject of such meetings.
“This bill fixes what I see as a gap in the current law, which is presently impractical in its time constraints” McSweeney said.
“Too often violations come to light, and under the current act, it’s too late to report them. We need common sense to bridge the gap.”
Under the current law, requests for review of potential violations of the Act must be filed within 60 days of the alleged violation.
House Bill 175, which was filed on January 14th, amends the law to allow violations to be reported within 60 days of the discovery that a violation may have taken place. An amendment added by Rep. McSweeney places a 2 year limit on reporting violations.
“My goal is not to overburden public bodies or the Attorney General’s office. People have a right to know how their public bodies are conducting business and this law will make it easier to enforce that right.” McSweeney added.
HB 175 now heads to the State Senate for consideration with Sen. Dan Duffy (R-Lake Barrington) as the chief sponsor.