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May 25, 2024

House, Senate pass Bill concerning closed session recordings –

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On June 1, 2016


On the last day of session, the House unanimously concurred with Senate Floor Amendment No. 2 to HB4630.

This Bill to amend the Open Meetings Act has had unanimous support thru the entire process with comments from legislators such as “I can’t believe elected officials are denied access” and “isn’t this already in the law?“. It now sits waiting on Gov. Rauner’s signature, which hopefully will be quickly forthcoming.

This Bill adds the following language to the Open Meetings Act:

Replaces everything after the enacting clause. Reinserts the provisions of the bill as engrossed with the following changes: allows access to the verbatim recordings and minutes of closed meetings to duly elected officials or appointed officials filling a vacancy of an elected office in a public body; provides that access shall be granted in the public body’s main office or official storage location, in the presence of a records secretary, an administrative official of the public body, or any elected official of the public body; provides that no verbatim recordings or minutes of closed meetings shall be recorded or removed from the public body’s main office or official storage location, except by vote of the public body or by court order; and provides that nothing in the subsections concerning verbatim recordings and minutes of closed meetings is intended to limit the Public Access Counselor’s access to records necessary to address a request for administrative review

No more will U46 be able to deny access to, or require a school board member to beg for, access to closed session recordings.

No longer will the City of Marshall be able to keep duly elected Aldermen from listening to closed session recordings.

No longer do the other dozens of public officials from other school districts, who complained of the same problems, have to vote on items without having COMPLETE and equal information as all of the others called to vote.

Marshall, Illinois Alderman Warren LeFever testified in both the House and Senate Committees in favor of this Bill, giving first-hand testimony of his struggles with the Mayor Camie Sanders’ bullying attitude on this matter.

Chapin Rose, Michael Connelly, Scott Bennett, Steven Landek, Dale Righter, Dan McConchie, and Thomas Cullerton sponsored this Bill in the Senate.

House Sponsors were: Jeanne Ives, Peter Breem, Patricia Bellock, Robert Martwick, Steven Anderson, Jack D. Franks, Carol Ammons, and Linda Chapa LaVia.

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1 Comment
  • Mike
    Posted at 23:37h, 01 June Reply

    Here is a related issue.

    School boards in Illinois routinely destroy all closed session recordings after 18 months.

    Destroying all such records should not be permissible.

    They are public documents paid for with taxpayer dollars.

    Instead there should be guidelines about what can and cannot be destroyed.

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