Hearing on changes to OMA on Tuesday

The Michigan House of Representatives’ Oversight Committee will take testimony Tuesday on two proposed changes to the state’s Open Meetings Act.

HB 5193 clarifies that public bodies cannot go into closed session to discuss threatened litigation, only specific pending litigation qualifies for closure under the law.

HB 5194 specifies that public bodies who willful violate the OMA and then re-vote on their actions to validate them cannot use their subsequent compliance with the law as a defense in a criminal action against them.

The Michigan Coalition for Open Government, a tax-exempt nonprofit corporation, supports the proposed changes to the state Open Meetings Law.

The two bills would result in modest though needed modifications allowing the public access that has, at times knowingly or unwittingly, been circumvented by public bodies. Both bill were introduced by State Rep. Tom McMillin (R-45) who also chairs the Oversight Committee.

The hearing is scheduled for 2:30 p.m., in the Anderson House Office Building, R. 326, 124 N. Capitol Ave in Lansing.

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