Two open meetings law changes proposed

Rep. Tom McMillin this week introduced two bill to amend the state Open Meeting law in an effort to make public bodies (city councils, township boards, school boards, etc.) more accountable to their citizen employers.

HB 5193 clarifies the exemption in exemption Sec. 8(e) that closed sessions are not allowed for an anticipated lawsuit but only for specific pending litigation.

HB 5194 clarifies Sec. 10(5) saying that though a public body that violated the law can still enact the legislation in conformity without that being viewed as an admission that OMA was violated, this will not be a defense against civil or criminal actions for OMA violations.

These are small but needed improvements in the law. Both bills were referred to the Oversight Committee, chaired by McMillin. McMillin is a strong advocate for public access and government transparency in the state House.

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