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Illinois Supreme Court Reverses Attorney General in Open Meetings Case

We are extremely pleased to present the Illinois Supreme Court’s unanimous decision issued in Board of Education of Springfield School District No. 186 v. Attorney General of Illinois (Docket No. 120343, January 20, 2017) (Argued and briefed by Lorilea Buerkett, with assistance from Daniel Hamilton and Kevin Born).  Our success in this case is important not only for the Board of District 186 but for every board governing a public body in Illinois and grappling with the Attorney General's pronouncements of what is and is not permissible under the Open Meetings Act.  The Attorney General in Binding Opinions 13-007 and 14-001 impermissibly went beyond what is actually required by the statue and imposed additional and unwieldy standards for what information must be provided by a board prior to a public vote being taken.  And in requiring boards to recite “key terms” of contracts on which they’re voting, the AG also created a rule that was so vague as to make it impossible for volunteer boards across the State to follow - all with no corresponding benefit to the public.  This decision, which was a model of clarity, will allow boards across Illinois to act with much more confidence as they do the public’s work.  Read the full opinion here.

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