A new law aims to strengthen the Illinois Open Meetings Act. The new law requires public bodies conducting a public meeting to ensure that a copy of the meeting notice and agenda is available to the public 48 hours preceding the meeting. “This law gives the public greater access to information and activities that impact their lives,” Governor Quinn said.
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“Increasing government openness and accountability from the statewide level to the local level will make Illinois a stronger, more ethical state.” The measure specifies that public bodies can satisfy the requirement by posting the meeting notice on the Internet. The law also ensures that meeting agendas provide the public with adequate information about the meeting’s actions.
"I'm happy we were able to work together in a bipartisan way to close a loophole that didn't serve the public," State Sen. Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale) said. "This measure will help the public be better informed about what their local governments are doing." This legislation was inspired by a court case centered on an Illinois municipality that posted a meeting notice before the meeting but did so in a building that was locked on the weekends and not accessible to the public. The law takes effect Jan. 1.