A bill to create more transparency in state government, which Rep. Sandra Pihos (R-Glen Ellyn) co-sponsored was signed into law Thursday.
Gov. Pat Quinn signed the legislation, which strengthens the Illinois Open Meetings Act, Thursday during a special ceremony at the DuPage County building council chambers. DuPage County Chairman Dan Cronin, along with Pihos and the bill’s co-sponsor Sen. Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale) attended the event.
“This new law will require all entities subject to the Open Meetings Act to provide a certain level of specificity when creating their agendas,” Pihos said in a news release.
House Bill 4687 requires public bodies conducting a public meeting to ensure that a copy of the meeting notice and agenda is available to the public for the entire 48 hours preceding the meeting, according to the news release from the Governor’s office. The legislation states that public bodies can post the meeting notice on the Internet to satisfy the requirement. The law also ensures that meeting agendas provide the public with adequate information about the meeting’s actions.
“This law gives the public greater access to information and activities that impact their lives,” Governor Quinn said in the release. “Increasing government openness and accountability from the statewide level to the local level will make Illinois a stronger, more ethical state.”
The impetus for the legislation was a court case involving municipality that regularly posted its notice prior to meetings, but did so in a building that was locked on the weekends and not accessible to the public. The law takes effect on Jan. 1, 2013.
"I'm happy we were able to work together in a bipartisan way to close a loophole that didn't serve the public," Dillard said. "This measure will help the public be better informed about what their local governments are doing."