Springfield, IL… To ensure that public body members have proper knowledge of the Open Meetings Act, State Representative Margo McDermed (R-Mokena) has filed House Bill 4664. The bill disqualifies from further service any elected or appointed public body member who fails to complete training on compliance with the Open Meetings Act within thirty days of receiving notice that they failed to complete training.
Since 2012, every elected or appointed member of a public body must complete electronic compliance training in the Open Meetings Act within 90 days of taking their position. Further, all FOIA Officers must successfully complete an electronic training curriculum within 30 days after assuming the position. Thereafter, FOIA officers must successfully complete the electronic training each year that they continue to serve as a FOIA officer. The Public Access Counselor in the Attorney General’s Office is responsible for developing these training programs.
“The Open Meetings Act was a real win for government transparency and accountability,” Rep McDermed said. “Unintended violations of the Open Meetings Act are less likely to happen if our public officials are aware of what is in this important Act.”
The failure of one or more members of a public body to complete the training does not affect the validity of an action taken by the public body, but HB 4664 would remove from office anyone who fails to take the training.