Latest EO Indicates Change on In-Person Meeting Requirements

  • Date Posted
    July 27, 2021
  • Category
On July 23, Governor JB Pritzker renewed the disaster declaration due to COVID-19 for all counties in Illinois for an additional 30 days. The Open Meetings Act (OMA) was amended last year to permit public bodies to meet remotely without a physical quorum present when the governor issues a disaster declaration related to public health concerns in the area where the public body is located, provided that certain procedures are followed.
However, as previewed in the June disaster declaration, the governor did not extend the prior finding that in-person meetings of more than 10 people are infeasible for public bodies under the Open Meetings Act (OMA), nor did he re-issue prior executive orders suspending in-person meeting requirements under OMA in his latest Executive Order. Therefore, there is no longer a state-wide justification for boards to hold their meetings remotely at this time. Boards that wish to continue to meet remotely based on local conditions should consult with their board attorney for further guidance.

If a quorum is physically present at the meeting location, OMA continues to authorize board members to attend remotely because of 1) personal illness or disability; 2) employment purposes or for the business of the board; or 3) family or other emergency, provided a board has a policy permitting such remote attendance.
With regard to the issue of masking, the latest EO reiterates that on July 9, 2021, the Illinois Department of Public Health adopted the CDC guidelines for K-12 schools which recommends that masks be worn indoors and in crowded settings by all individuals ages 2 and older who are not fully vaccinated.