Open Meetings Act
General Provisions/Compensation Benefit Report
Statutory Compliance Statement For IMRF Employees. Pursuant to the Illinois Open Meetings Act, as amended (including P.A. 97-0609), MetroLINK provides an annual notice of a “total compensation package” (as defined in the Act, with the total proposed compensation to exceed $150,000/year) pertaining to MetroLINK IMRF employee(s). A physical copy of the applicable information, including the name of the impacted employee(s) and respective corresponding compensation data, is available at the MetroLINK Administrative Office, 1515 River Drive, Moline, Illinois 61265, Attn: Jeffrey A. Nelson, CEO/Managing Director.
(5 ILCS 120/) Open Meetings Act.
(5 ILCS 120/1) (from Ch. 102, par. 41)
Sec. 1. Policy. It is the public policy of this State that public bodies exist to aid in the conduct of the people's business and that the people have a right to be informed as to the conduct of their business. In order that the people shall be informed, the General Assembly finds and declares that it is the intent of this Act to ensure that the actions of public bodies be taken openly and that their deliberations be conducted openly.
The General Assembly further declares it to be the public policy of this State that its citizens shall be given advance notice of and the right to attend all meetings at which any business of a public body is discussed or acted upon in any way. Exceptions to the public's right to attend exist only in those limited circumstances where the General Assembly has specifically determined that the public interest would be clearly endangered or the personal privacy or guaranteed rights of individuals would be clearly in danger of unwarranted invasion.
To implement this policy, the General Assembly declares:
(1) It is the intent of this Act to protect the citizen's right to know; and
(2) The provisions for exceptions to the open meeting requirements shall be strictly construed against closed meetings.
(Source: P.A. 88-621, eff. 1-1-95.)
(5 ILCS 120/1.01) (from Ch. 102, par. 41.01)
Sec. 1.01. This Act shall be known and may be cited as the Open Meetings Act.
(Source: P.A. 82-378.)
(5 ILCS 120/1.02) (from Ch. 102, par. 41.02)
Sec. 1.02. For the purposes of this Act:
"Meeting" means any gathering, whether in person or by video or audio conference, telephone call, electronic means (such as, without limitation, electronic mail, electronic chat, and instant messaging), or other means of contemporaneous interactive communication, of a majority of a quorum of the members of a public body held for the purpose of discussing public business or, for a 5-member public body, a quorum of the members of a public body held for the purpose of discussing public business.
Accordingly, for a 5-member public body, 3 members of the body constitute a quorum and the affirmative vote of 3 members is necessary to adopt any motion, resolution, or ordinance, unless a greater number is otherwise required.
"Public body" includes all legislative, executive, administrative or advisory bodies of the State, counties, townships, cities, villages, incorporated towns, school districts and all other municipal corporations, boards, bureaus, committees or commissions of this State, and any subsidiary bodies of any of the foregoing including but not limited to committees and subcommittees which are supported in whole or in part by tax revenue, or which expend tax revenue, except the General Assembly and committees or commissions thereof. "Public body" includes tourism boards and convention or civic center boards located in counties that are contiguous to the Mississippi River with populations of more than 250,000 but less than 300,000. "Public body" includes the Health Facilities and Services Review Board. "Public body" does not include a child death review team or the Illinois Child Death Review Teams Executive Council established under the Child Death Review Team Act, an ethics commission acting under the State Officials and Employees Ethics Act, or the Illinois Independent Tax Tribunal.
(Source: P.A. 96-31, eff. 6-30-09; 97-1129, eff. 8-28-12.)
(5 ILCS 120/1.05)
Sec. 1.05. Training.
(a) Every public body shall designate employees, officers, or members to receive training on compliance with this Act. Each public body shall submit a list of designated employees, officers, or members to the Public Access Counselor. Within 6 months after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 96th General Assembly, the designated employees, officers, and members must successfully complete an electronic training curriculum, developed and administered by the Public Access Counselor, and thereafter must successfully complete an annual training program. Thereafter, whenever a public body designates an additional employee, officer, or member to receive this training, that person must successfully complete the electronic training curriculum within 30 days after that designation.
(b) Except as otherwise provided in this Section, each elected or appointed member of a public body subject to this Act who is such a member on the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 97th General Assembly must successfully complete the electronic training curriculum developed and administered by the Public Access Counselor. For these members, the training must be completed within one year after the effective date of this amendatory Act.
Except as otherwise provided in this Section, each elected or appointed member of a public body subject to this Act who becomes such a member after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 97th General Assembly shall successfully complete the electronic training curriculum developed and administered by the Public Access Counselor. For these members, the training must be completed not later than the 90th day after the date the member:
(1) takes the oath of office, if the member is required to take an oath of office to assume the person's duties as a member of the public body; or
(2) otherwise assumes responsibilities as a member of the public body, if the member is not required to take an oath of office to assume the person's duties as a member of the governmental body.
Each member successfully completing the electronic training curriculum shall file a copy of the certificate of completion with the public body.
Completing the required training as a member of the public body satisfies the requirements of this Section with regard to the member's service on a committee or subcommittee of the public body and the member's ex officio service on any other public body.
The failure of one or more members of a public body to complete the training required by this Section does not affect the validity of an action taken by the public body.
An elected or appointed member of a public body subject to this Act who has successfully completed the training required under this subsection (b) and filed a copy of the certificate of completion with the public body is not required to subsequently complete the training required under this subsection (b).
(c) An elected school board member may satisfy the training requirements of this Section by participating in a course of training sponsored or conducted by an organization created under Article 23 of the School Code. The course of training shall include, but not be limited to, instruction in:
(1) the general background of the legal requirements
for open meetings;
(2) the applicability of this Act to public bodies;
(3) procedures and requirements regarding quorums,
notice, and record-keeping under this Act;
(4) procedures and requirements for holding an open
meeting and for holding a closed meeting under this Act; and
(5) penalties and other consequences for failing to
comply with this Act.
If an organization created under Article 23 of the School Code provides a course of training under this subsection (c), it must provide a certificate of course completion to each school board member who successfully completes that course of training. (Source: P.A. 96-542, eff. 1-1-10; 97-504, eff. 1-1-12.)
(5 ILCS 120/2) (from Ch. 102, par. 42)
Sec. 2. Open meetings.
(a) Openness required. All meetings of public bodies shall be open to the public unless excepted in subsection (c) and closed in accordance with Section 2a.
(b) Construction of exceptions. The exceptions contained in subsection (c) are in derogation of the requirement that public bodies meet in the open, and therefore, the exceptions are to be strictly construed, extending only to subjects clearly within their scope. The exceptions authorize but do not require the holding of a closed meeting to discuss a subject included within an enumerated exception.
(c) Exceptions. A public body may hold closed meetings to consider the following subjects:
(1) The appointment, employment, compensation, discipline, performance, or dismissal of specific employees of the public body or legal counsel for the public body, including hearing testimony on a complaint lodged against an employee of the public body or against legal counsel for the public body to determine its validity.
(2) Collective negotiating matters between the public body and its employees or their representatives, or deliberations concerning salary schedules for one or more classes of employees.
(3) The selection of a person to fill a public office, as defined in this Act, including a vacancy in a public office, when the public body is given power to appoint under law or ordinance, or the discipline, performance or removal of the occupant of a public office, when the public body is given power to remove the occupant under law or ordinance.
(4) Evidence or testimony presented in open hearing, or in closed hearing where specifically authorized by law, to a quasi-adjudicative body, as defined in this Act, provided that the body prepares and makes available for public inspection a written decision setting forth its determinative reasoning.
(5) The purchase or lease of real property for the use of the public body, including meetings held for the purpose of discussing whether a particular parcel should be acquired.
(6) The setting of a price for sale or lease of property owned by the public body.
(7) The sale or purchase of securities, investments, or investment contracts. This exception shall not apply to the investment of assets or income of funds deposited into the Illinois Prepaid Tuition Trust Fund.
(8) Security procedures and the use of personnel and equipment to respond to an actual, a threatened, or a reasonably potential danger to the safety of employees, students, staff, the public, or public property.
(9) Student disciplinary cases.
(10) The placement of individual students in special education programs and other matters relating to individual students.
(11) Litigation, when an action against, affecting or on behalf of the particular public body has been filed and is pending before a court or administrative tribunal, or when the public body finds that an action is probable or imminent, in which case the basis for the finding shall be recorded and entered into the minutes of the closed meeting.
(12) The establishment of reserves or settlement of claims as provided in the Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act, if otherwise the disposition of a claim or potential claim might be prejudiced, or the review or discussion of claims, loss or risk management information, records, data, advice or communications from or with respect to any insurer of the public body or any intergovernmental risk management association or self insurance pool of which the public body is a member.
(13) Conciliation of complaints of discrimination in the sale or rental of housing, when closed meetings are authorized by the law or ordinance prescribing fair housing practices and creating a commission or administrative agency for their enforcement.
(14) Informant sources, the hiring or assignment of undercover personnel or equipment, or ongoing, prior or future criminal investigations, when discussed by a public body with criminal investigatory responsibilities.
(15) Professional ethics or performance when considered by an advisory body appointed to advise a licensing or regulatory agency on matters germane to the advisory body's field of competence.
(16) Self evaluation, practices and procedures or professional ethics, when meeting with a representative of a statewide association of which the public body is a member.
(17) The recruitment, credentialing, discipline or formal peer review of physicians or other health care professionals for a hospital, or other institution providing medical care, that is operated by the public body.
(18) Deliberations for decisions of the Prisoner Review Board.
(19) Review or discussion of applications received under the Experimental Organ Transplantation Procedures Act.
(20) The classification and discussion of matters classified as confidential or continued confidential by the State Government Suggestion Award Board.
(21) Discussion of minutes of meetings lawfully closed under this Act, whether for purposes of approval by the body of the minutes or semi-annual review of the minutes as mandated by Section 2.06.
(22) Deliberations for decisions of the State Emergency Medical Services Disciplinary Review Board.
(23) The operation by a municipality of a municipal utility or the operation of a municipal power agency or municipal natural gas agency when the discussion involves (i) contracts relating to the purchase, sale, or delivery of electricity or natural gas or (ii) the results or conclusions of load forecast studies.
(24) Meetings of a residential health care facility resident sexual assault and death review team or the Executive Council under the Abuse Prevention Review Team Act.
(25) Meetings of an independent team of experts under Brian's Law.
(26) Meetings of a mortality review team appointed under the Department of Juvenile Justice Mortality Review Team Act.
(27) Confidential information, when discussed by one or more members of an elder abuse fatality review team, designated under Section 15 of the Elder Abuse and Neglect Act, while participating in a review conducted by that team of the death of an elderly person in which abuse or neglect is suspected, alleged, or substantiated; provided that before the review team holds a closed meeting, or closes an open meeting, to discuss the confidential information, each participating review team member seeking to disclose the confidential information in the closed meeting or closed portion of the meeting must state on the record during an open meeting or the open portion of a meeting the nature of the information to be disclosed and the legal basis for otherwise holding that information confidential.
(28) Correspondence and records (i) that may not be disclosed under Section 11-9 of the Public Aid Code or (ii) that pertain to appeals under Section 11-8 of the Public Aid Code.
(29) Meetings between internal or external auditors and governmental audit committees, finance committees, and their equivalents, when the discussion involves internal control weaknesses, identification of potential fraud risk areas, known or suspected frauds, and fraud interviews conducted in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards of the United States of America.
(d) Definitions. For purposes of this Section:
"Employee" means a person employed by a public body whose relationship with the public body constitutes an employer-employee relationship under the usual common law rules, and who is not an independent contractor.
"Public office" means a position created by or under the Constitution or laws of this State, the occupant of which is charged with the exercise of some portion of the sovereign power of this State. The term "public office" shall include members of the public body, but it shall not include organizational positions filled by members thereof, whether established by law or by a public body itself, that exist to assist the body in the conduct of its business.
"Quasi-adjudicative body" means an administrative body charged by law or ordinance with the responsibility to conduct hearings, receive evidence or testimony and make determinations based thereon, but does not include local electoral boards when such bodies are considering petition challenges.
(e) Final action. No final action may be taken at a closed meeting. Final action shall be preceded by a public recital of the nature of the matter being considered and other information that will inform the public of the business being conducted.
(Source: P.A. 96-1235, eff. 1-1-11; 96-1378, eff. 7-29-10; 96-1428, eff. 8-11-10; 97-318, eff. 1-1-12; 97-333, eff. 8-12-11; 97-452, eff. 8-19-11; 97-813, eff. 7-13-12; 97-876, eff. 8-1-12.)
(5 ILCS 120/2.01) (from Ch. 102, par. 42.01)
Sec. 2.01. All meetings required by this Act to be public shall be held at specified times and places which are convenient and open to the public. No meeting required by this Act to be public shall be held on a legal holiday unless the regular meeting day falls on that holiday.
A quorum of members of a public body must be physically present at the location of an open meeting. If, however, an open meeting of a public body (i) with statewide jurisdiction, (ii) that is an Illinois library system with jurisdiction over a specific geographic area of more than 4,500 square miles, or (iii) that is a municipal transit district with jurisdiction over a specific geographic area of more than 4,500 square miles is held simultaneously at one of its offices and one or more other locations in a public building, which may include other of its offices, through an interactive video conference and the public body provides public notice and public access as required under this Act for all locations, then members physically present in those locations all count towards determining a quorum. "Public building", as used in this Section, means any building or portion thereof owned or leased by any public body. The requirement that a quorum be physically present at the location of an open meeting shall not apply, however, to State advisory boards or bodies that do not have authority to make binding recommendations or determinations or to take any other substantive action.
A quorum of members of a public body that is not (i) a public body with statewide jurisdiction, (ii) an Illinois library system with jurisdiction over a specific geographic area of more than 4,500 square miles, or (iii) a municipal transit district with jurisdiction over a specific geographic area of more than 4,500 square miles must be physically present at the location of a closed meeting. Other members who are not physically present at a closed meeting of such a public body may participate in the meeting by means of a video or audio conference.
(Source: P.A. 96-664, eff. 8-25-09; 96-1043, eff. 1-1-11.)
(5 ILCS 120/2.02) (from Ch. 102, par. 42.02)
Sec. 2.02. Public notice of all meetings, whether open or closed to the public, shall be given as follows:
(a) Every public body shall give public notice of the schedule of regular meetings at the beginning of each calendar or fiscal year and shall state the regular dates, times, and places of such meetings. An agenda for each regular meeting shall be posted at the principal office of the public body and at the location where the meeting is to be held at least 48 hours in advance of the holding of the meeting. A public body that has a website that the full-time staff of the public body maintains shall also post on its website the agenda of any regular meetings of the governing body of that public body. Any agenda of a regular meeting that is posted on a public body's website shall remain posted on the website until the regular meeting is concluded. The requirement of a regular meeting agenda shall not preclude the consideration of items not specifically set forth in the agenda. Public notice of any special meeting except a meeting held in the event of a bona fide emergency, or of any rescheduled regular meeting, or of any reconvened meeting, shall be given at least 48 hours before such meeting, which notice shall also include the agenda for the special, rescheduled, or reconvened meeting, but the validity of any action taken by the public body which is germane to a subject on the agenda shall not be affected by other errors or omissions in the agenda. The requirement of public notice of reconvened meetings does not apply to any case where the meeting was open to the public and (1) it is to be reconvened within 24 hours, or (2) an announcement of the time and place of the reconvened meeting was made at the original meeting and there is no change in the agenda. Notice of an emergency meeting shall be given as soon as practicable, but in any event prior to the holding of such meeting, to any news medium which has filed an annual request for notice under subsection (b) of this Section.
(b) Public notice shall be given by posting a copy of the notice at the principal office of the body holding the meeting or, if no such office exists, at the building in which the meeting is to be held. In addition, a public body that has a website that the full-time staff of the public body maintains shall post notice on its website of all meetings of the governing body of the public body. Any notice of an annual schedule of meetings shall remain on the website until a new public notice of the schedule of regular meetings is approved. Any notice of a regular meeting that is posted on a public body's website shall remain posted on the website until the regular meeting is concluded. The body shall supply copies of the notice of its regular meetings, and of the notice of any special, emergency, rescheduled or reconvened meeting, to any news medium that has filed an annual request for such notice. Any such news medium shall also be given the same notice of all special, emergency, rescheduled or reconvened meetings in the same manner as is given to members of the body provided such news medium has given the public body an address or telephone number within the territorial jurisdiction of the public body at which such notice may be given. The failure of a public body to post on its website notice of any meeting or the agenda of any meeting shall not invalidate any meeting or any actions taken at a meeting.
(c) Any agenda required under this Section shall set forth the general subject matter of any resolution or ordinance that will be the subject of final action at the meeting. The public body conducting a public meeting shall ensure that at least one copy of any requested notice and agenda for the meeting is continuously available for public review during the entire 48-hour period preceding the meeting. Posting of the notice and agenda on a website that is maintained by the public body satisfies the requirement for continuous posting under this subsection (c). If a notice or agenda is not continuously available for the full 48-hour period due to actions outside of the control of the public body, then that lack of availability does not invalidate any meeting or action taken at a meeting.
(Source: P.A. 97-827, eff. 1-1-13.)
(5 ILCS 120/2.03) (from Ch. 102, par. 42.03)
Sec. 2.03. In addition to the notice required by Section 2.02, each body subject to this Act must, at the beginning of each calendar or fiscal year, prepare and make available a schedule of all its regular meetings for such calendar or fiscal year, listing the times and places of such meetings.
If a change is made in regular meeting dates, at least 10 days' notice of such change shall be given by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the area in which such body functions. However, in the case of bodies of local governmental units with a population of less than 500 in which no newspaper is published, such 10 days' notice may be given by posting a notice of such change in at least 3 prominent places within the governmental unit. Notice of such change shall also be posted at the principal office of the public body or, if no such office exists, at the building in which the meeting is to be held. Notice of such change shall also be supplied to those news media which have filed an annual request for notice as provided in paragraph (b) of Section 2.02.
(Source: Laws 1967, p. 1960.)
(5 ILCS 120/2.04) (from Ch. 102, par. 42.04)
Sec. 2.04. The notice requirements of this Act are in addition to, and not in substitution of, any other notice required by law. Failure of any news medium to receive a notice provided for by this Act shall not invalidate any meeting provided notice was in fact given in accordance with this Act.
(Source: Laws 1967, p. 1960.)
(5 ILCS 120/2.05) (from Ch. 102, par. 42.05)
Sec. 2.05. Recording meetings. Subject to the provisions of Section 8-701 of the Code of Civil Procedure, any person may record the proceedings at meetings required to be open by this Act by tape, film or other means. The authority holding the meeting shall prescribe reasonable rules to govern the right to make such recordings.
If a witness at any meeting required to be open by this Act which is conducted by a commission, administrative agency or other tribunal, refuses to testify on the grounds that he may not be compelled to testify if any portion of his testimony is to be broadcast or televised or if motion pictures are to be taken of him while he is testifying, the authority holding the meeting shall prohibit such recording during the testimony of the witness. Nothing in this Section shall be construed to extend the right to refuse to testify at any meeting not subject to the provisions of Section 8-701 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
(Source: P.A. 94-1058, eff. 1-1-07.)
(5 ILCS 120/2.06) (from Ch. 102, par. 42.06)
Sec. 2.06. Minutes; right to speak.
(a) All public bodies shall keep written minutes of all their meetings, whether open or closed, and a verbatim record of all their closed meetings in the form of an audio or video recording. Minutes shall include, but need not be limited to:
(1) the date, time and place of the meeting;
(2) the members of the public body recorded as either present or absent and whether the members were physically present or present by means of video or audio conference; and
(3) a summary of discussion on all matters proposed,
deliberated, or decided, and a record of any votes taken.
(b) A public body shall approve the minutes of its open meeting within 30 days after that meeting or at the public body's second subsequent regular meeting, whichever is later. The minutes of meetings open to the public shall be available for public inspection within 10 days after the approval of such minutes by the public body. Beginning July 1, 2006, at the time it complies with the other requirements of this subsection, a public body that has a website that the full-time staff of the public body maintains shall post the minutes of a regular meeting of its governing body open to the public on the public body's website within 10 days after the approval of the minutes by the public body. Beginning July 1, 2006, any minutes of meetings open to the public posted on the public body's website shall remain posted on the website for at least 60 days after their initial posting.
(c) The verbatim record may be destroyed without notification to or the approval of a records commission or the State Archivist under the Local Records Act or the State Records Act no less than 18 months after the completion of the meeting recorded but only after:
(1) the public body approves the destruction of a particular recording; and
(2) the public body approves minutes of the closed meeting that meet the written minutes requirements of subsection (a) of this Section.
(d) Each public body shall periodically, but no less than semi-annually, meet to review minutes of all closed meetings. At such meetings a determination shall be made, and reported in an open session that (1) the need for confidentiality still exists as to all or part of those minutes or (2) that the minutes or portions thereof no longer require confidential treatment and are available for public inspection. The failure of a public body to strictly comply with the semi-annual review of closed session written minutes, whether before or after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 94th General Assembly, shall not cause the written minutes or related verbatim record to become public or available for inspection in any judicial proceeding, other than a proceeding involving an alleged violation of this Act, if the public body, within 60 days of discovering its failure to strictly comply with the technical requirements of this subsection, reviews the closed session minutes and determines and thereafter reports in open session that either (1) the need for confidentiality still exists as to all or part of the minutes or verbatim record, or (2) that the minutes or recordings or portions thereof no longer require confidential treatment and are available for public inspection.
(e) Unless the public body has made a determination that the verbatim recording no longer requires confidential treatment or otherwise consents to disclosure, the verbatim record of a meeting closed to the public shall not be open for public inspection or subject to discovery in any administrative or judicial proceeding other than one brought to enforce this Act. In the case of a civil action brought to enforce this Act, the court, if the judge believes such an examination is necessary, must conduct such in camera examination of the verbatim record as it finds appropriate in order to determine whether there has been a violation of this Act. In the case of a criminal proceeding, the court may conduct an examination in order to determine what portions, if any, must be made available to the parties for use as evidence in the prosecution. Any such initial inspection must be held in camera. If the court determines that a complaint or suit brought for noncompliance under this Act is valid it may, for the purposes of discovery, redact from the minutes of the meeting closed to the public any information deemed to qualify under the attorney-client privilege. The provisions of this subsection do not supersede the privacy or confidentiality provisions of State or federal law.
(f) Minutes of meetings closed to the public shall be available only after the public body determines that it is no longer necessary to protect the public interest or the privacy of an individual by keeping them confidential.
(g) Any person shall be permitted an opportunity to address public officials under the rules established and recorded by the public body.
(Source: P.A. 96-1473, eff. 1-1-11.)
(5 ILCS 120/2a) (from Ch. 102, par. 42a)
Sec. 2a. A public body may hold a meeting closed to the public, or close a portion of a meeting to the public, upon a majority vote of a quorum present, taken at a meeting open to the public for which notice has been given as required by this Act. A single vote may be taken with respect to a series of meetings, a portion or portions of which are proposed to be closed to the public, provided each meeting in such series involves the same particular matters and is scheduled to be held within no more than 3 months of the vote. The vote of each member on the question of holding a meeting closed to the public and a citation to the specific exception contained in Section 2 of this Act which authorizes the closing of the meeting to the public shall be publicly disclosed at the time of the vote and shall be recorded and entered into the minutes of the meeting. Nothing in this Section or this Act shall be construed to require that any meeting be closed to the public.
At any open meeting of a public body for which proper notice under this Act has been given, the body may, without additional notice under Section 2.02, hold a closed meeting in accordance with this Act. Only topics specified in the vote to close under this Section may be considered during the closed meeting.
(Source: P.A. 88-621, eff. 1-1-95; 89-86, eff. 6-30-95.)
(5 ILCS 120/2b)
Sec. 2b. (Repealed).
(Source: Repealed by P.A. 88-621, eff. 1-1-95.)
(5 ILCS 120/3) (from Ch. 102, par. 43)
(a) Where the provisions of this Act are not complied with, or where there is probable cause to believe that the provisions of this Act will not be complied with, any person, including the State's Attorney of the county in which such noncompliance may occur, may bring a civil action in the circuit court for the judicial circuit in which the alleged noncompliance has occurred or is about to occur, or in which the affected public body has its principal office, prior to or within 60 days of the meeting alleged to be in violation of this Act or, if facts concerning the meeting are not discovered within the 60-day period, within 60 days of the discovery of a violation by the State's Attorney.
Records that are obtained by a State's Attorney from a public body for purposes of reviewing whether the public body has complied with this Act may not be disclosed to the public. Those records, while in the possession of the State's Attorney, are exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act.
(b) In deciding such a case the court may examine in camera any portion of the minutes of a meeting at which a violation of the Act is alleged to have occurred, and may take such additional evidence as it deems necessary.
(c) The court, having due regard for orderly administration and the public interest, as well as for the interests of the parties, may grant such relief as it deems appropriate, including granting a relief by mandamus requiring that a meeting be open to the public, granting an injunction against future violations of this Act, ordering the public body to make available to the public such portion of the minutes of a meeting as is not authorized to be kept confidential under this Act, or declaring null and void any final action taken at a closed meeting in violation of this Act.
(d) The court may assess against any party, except a State's Attorney, reasonable attorney's fees and other litigation costs reasonably incurred by any other party who substantially prevails in any action brought in accordance with this Section, provided that costs may be assessed against any private party or parties bringing an action pursuant to this Section only upon the court's determination that the action is malicious or frivolous in nature.
(Source: P.A. 96-542, eff. 1-1-10.)
(5 ILCS 120/3.5)
Sec. 3.5. Public Access Counselor; opinions.
(a) A person who believes that a violation of this Act by a public body has occurred may file a request for review with the Public Access Counselor established in the Office of the Attorney General not later than 60 days after the alleged violation. The request for review must be in writing, must be signed by the requester, and must include a summary of the facts supporting the allegation.
(b) Upon receipt of a request for review, the Public Access Counselor shall determine whether further action is warranted. If the Public Access Counselor determines from the request for review that the alleged violation is unfounded, he or she shall so advise the requester and the public body and no further action shall be undertaken. In all other cases, the Public Access Counselor shall forward a copy of the request for review to the public body within 7 working days. The Public Access Counselor shall specify the records or other documents that the public body shall furnish to facilitate the review. Within 7 working days after receipt of the request for review, the public body shall provide copies of the records requested and shall otherwise fully cooperate with the Public Access Counselor. If a public body fails to furnish specified records pursuant to this Section, or if otherwise necessary, the Attorney General may issue a subpoena to any person or public body having knowledge of or records pertaining to an alleged violation of this Act. For purposes of conducting a thorough review, the Public Access Counselor has the same right to examine a verbatim recording of a meeting closed to the public or the minutes of a closed meeting as does a court in a civil action brought to enforce this Act.
(c) Within 7 working days after it receives a copy of a request for review and request for production of records from the Public Access Counselor, the public body may, but is not required to, answer the allegations of the request for review. The answer may take the form of a letter, brief, or memorandum. Upon request, the public body may also furnish the Public Access Counselor with a redacted copy of the answer excluding specific references to any matters at issue. The Public Access Counselor shall forward a copy of the answer or redacted answer, if furnished, to the person submitting the request for review. The requester may, but is not required to, respond in writing to the answer within 7 working days and shall provide a copy of the response to the public body.
(d) In addition to the request for review, and the answer and the response thereto, if any, a requester or a public body may furnish affidavits and records concerning any matter germane to the review.
(e) Unless the Public Access Counselor extends the time by no more than 21 business days by sending written notice to the requester and public body that includes a statement of the reasons for the extension in the notice, or decides to address the matter without the issuance of a binding opinion, the Attorney General shall examine the issues and the records, shall make findings of fact and conclusions of law, and shall issue to the requester and the public body an opinion within 60 days after initiating review. The opinion shall be binding upon both the requester and the public body, subject to administrative review under Section 7.5 of this Act.
In responding to any written request under this Section 3.5, the Attorney General may exercise his or her discretion and choose to resolve a request for review by mediation or by a means other than the issuance of a binding opinion. The decision not to issue a binding opinion shall not be reviewable.
Upon receipt of a binding opinion concluding that a violation of this Act has occurred, the public body shall either take necessary action as soon as practical to comply with the directive of the opinion or shall initiate administrative review under Section 7.5. If the opinion concludes that no violation of the Act has occurred, the requester may initiate administrative review under Section 7.5.
(f) If the requester files suit under Section 3 with respect to the same alleged violation that is the subject of a pending request for review, the requester shall notify the Public Access Counselor, and the Public Access Counselor shall take no further action with respect to the request for review and shall so notify the public body.
(g) Records that are obtained by the Public Access Counselor from a public body for purposes of addressing a request for review under this Section 3.5 may not be disclosed to the public, including the requester, by the Public Access Counselor. Those records, while in the possession of the Public Access Counselor, shall be exempt from disclosure by the Public Access Counselor under the Freedom of Information Act.
(h) The Attorney General may also issue advisory opinions to public bodies regarding compliance with this Act. A review may be initiated upon receipt of a written request from the head of the public body or its attorney. The request must contain sufficient accurate facts from which a determination can be made. The Public Access Counselor may request additional information from the public body in order to facilitate the review. A public body that relies in good faith on an advisory opinion of the Attorney General in complying with the requirements of this Act is not liable for penalties under this Act, so long as the facts upon which the opinion is based have been fully and fairly disclosed to the Public Access Counselor.
(Source: P.A. 96-542, eff. 1-1-10.)
(5 ILCS 120/4) (from Ch. 102, par. 44)
Sec. 4. Any person violating any of the provisions of this Act, except subsection (b) or (c) of Section 1.05, shall be guilty of a Class C misdemeanor.
(Source: P.A. 97-504, eff. 1-1-12.)
(5 ILCS 120/5) (from Ch. 102, par. 45)
Sec. 5. If any provision of this Act, or the application of this Act to any particular meeting or type of meeting is held invalid or unconstitutional, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining provisions or the other applications of this Act.
(Source: Laws 1957, p. 2892.)
(5 ILCS 120/6) (from Ch. 102, par. 46)
Sec. 6. The provisions of this Act constitute minimum requirements for home rule units; any home rule unit may enact an ordinance prescribing more stringent requirements binding upon itself which would serve to give further notice to the public and facilitate public access to meetings.
(Source: P.A. 78-448.)
(5 ILCS 120/7)
Sec. 7. Attendance by a means other than physical presence.
(a) If a quorum of the members of the public body is physically present as required by Section 2.01, a majority of the public body may allow a member of that body to attend the meeting by other means if the member is prevented from physically attending because of: (i) personal illness or disability; (ii) employment purposes or the business of the public body; or (iii) a family or other emergency. "Other means" is by video or audio conference.
(b) If a member wishes to attend a meeting by other means, the member must notify the recording secretary or clerk of the public body before the meeting unless advance notice is impractical.
(c) A majority of the public body may allow a member to attend a meeting by other means only in accordance with and to the extent allowed by rules adopted by the public body. The rules must conform to the requirements and restrictions of this Section, may further limit the extent to which attendance by other means is allowed, and may provide for the giving of additional notice to the public or further facilitate public access to meetings.
(d) The limitations of this Section shall not apply to (i) closed meetings of (A) public bodies with statewide jurisdiction, (B) Illinois library systems with jurisdiction over a specific geographic area of more than 4,500 square miles, or (C) municipal transit districts with jurisdiction over a specific geographic area of more than 4,500 square miles or (ii) open or closed meetings of State advisory boards or bodies that do not have authority to make binding recommendations or determinations or to take any other substantive action. State advisory boards or bodies, public bodies with statewide jurisdiction, Illinois library systems with jurisdiction over a specific geographic area of more than 4,500 square miles, and municipal transit districts with jurisdiction over a specific geographic area of more than 4,500 square miles, however, may permit members to attend meetings by other means only in accordance with and to the extent allowed by specific procedural rules adopted by the body.
(Source: P.A. 96-664, eff. 8-25-09; 96-1043, eff. 1-1-11.)
(5 ILCS 120/7.3)
Sec. 7.3. Duty to post information pertaining to benefits offered through the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund.
(a) Within 6 business days after an employer participating in the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund approves a budget, that employer must post on its website the total compensation package for each employee having a total compensation package that exceeds $75,000 per year. If the employer does not maintain a website, the employer must post a physical copy of this information at the principal office of the employer. If an employer maintains a website, it may choose to post a physical copy of this information at the principal office of the employer in lieu of posting the information directly on the website; however, the employer must post directions on the website on how to access that information.
(b) At least 6 days before an employer participating in the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund approves an employee's total compensation package that is equal to or in excess of $150,000 per year, the employer must post on its website the total compensation package for that employee. If the employer does not maintain a website, the employer shall post a physical copy of this information at the principal office of the employer. If an employer maintains a website, it may choose to post a physical copy of this information at the principal office of the employer in lieu of posting the information directly on the website; however, the employer must post directions on the website on how to access that information.
(c) For the purposes of this Section, "total compensation package" means payment by the employer to the employee for salary, health insurance, a housing allowance, a vehicle allowance, a clothing allowance, bonuses, loans, vacation days granted, and sick days granted.
(Source: P.A. 97-609, eff. 1-1-12.)
(5 ILCS 120/7.5)
Sec. 7.5. Administrative review. A binding opinion issued by the Attorney General shall be considered a final decision of an administrative agency, for purposes of administrative review under the Administrative Review Law (735 ILCS 5/Art. III). An action for administrative review of a binding opinion of the Attorney General shall be commenced in Cook or Sangamon County. An advisory opinion issued to a public body shall not be considered a final decision of the Attorney General for purposes of this Section.
(Source: P.A. 96-542, eff. 1-1-10.
COMPENSATION BENEFIT REPORT
A physical copy of the list of employees whose total compensation exceeds $75,000 per year is available at the administration building office of the Rock Island County Metropolitan Mass Transit District (MetroLINK).
A physical copy of the list of employees whose total compensation exceeds $150,000 per year is available at the administration building office of the Rock Island County Metropolitan Mass Transit District (MetroLINK).