Illinois Open Meetings Act bill to be debated

A bill inspired by the Oakwood Hills power plant debacle to make it easier to report Illinois Open Meetings Act violations will likely get a minor tweak to help its odds of passage.

House Bill 175, filed last month by Rep. David McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills, seeks to allow people to report a violation of the act within 60 days of its discovery. Current law limits the reporting period to 60 days from the date of the meeting in question, meaning that violations discovered after that date cannot be reported to the Illinois Attorney General’s Office.

McSweeney said he likely will amend the bill to set a five-year limit on how far back an illegal meeting took place. While the bill generally has gotten positive feedback, McSweeney said, some lawmakers have raised concerns that people could make unduly burdensome requests for decades worth of meeting minutes. Continue>>>