New Open Meetings Act Requirement to Take Effect Next Year

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Effective January 1, 2022, Public Act 102-0653 amends the Open Meetings Act to require that public bodies meet to review their closed session meeting minutes every six months, or “as soon thereafter as is practicable, taking into account the nature and meeting schedule of the public body.” Public Act 102-0653 also clarifies the requirements for review of closed session meeting minutes by committees which are ad hoc in nature. To that end, Public Act 102-0653 will require that committees which are ad hoc in nature review closed session meeting minutes at the later of: (1) six months from the date of the last review of closed session minutes; or (2) the next scheduled meeting of the ad hoc committee.

Previously, the Open Meetings Act required that all public bodies meet to review minutes of their closed session meetings “periodically, but no less than semi-annually.” The bill was sponsored by Senator John Curran (R-41st) and Representative Deanne Mazzochi (R-47th).

It should be noted that the Open Meetings Act continues to provide a “safe harbor” for public bodies that fail to strictly comply with the requirements for review of closed session meeting minutes. Specifically, the Open Meetings Act provides that the failure to timely review closed session meeting minutes will not cause the minutes (or the related verbatim records) to become public records, so long as the public body reviews the closed session meeting minutes within 60 days after discovering its failure to comply.

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