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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Bill Would Disqualify Members of Public Body for Failure to Complete Online OMA Training

As many of you know, the Open Meetings Act requires members of a public body to complete an online OMA training program within 90 days of being elected or appointed to the public body. Under the current law, the failure of any member of the public body to complete the training does not invalidate any action taken by that public body. Under a proposed bill, HB 4664, the OMA would be amended to add a "penalty" for noncompliance. Specifically, a member's failure to complete the training within 30 days of receiving notice from the public body that he or she has failed to complete training will disqualify the member from further service as a member of the public body.

The bill does not provide any process for removal of the member from the public body. Would this require the public body to declare the office vacant? Must the public body follow any applicable statutory procedures for removing an appointed officer? What authority does the state legislature have to remove an elected official from office? 

I don't expect this bill to gain much traction, but it's worth mentioning as we summarize some of the new legislation pouring out of the Illinois General Assembly recently.

Post Authored by Julie Tappendorf


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