Open Meetings Act bill passes House Committee

Posted on April 17, 2012 by Dene Westbrook

This afternoon the House Oversight, Reforms and Ethics committee reported HB 5459, a bill that amends the Open Meetings Act (OMA). The intent of the bill is to create more transparency when there are “emergency” meetings that are unable to comply with the 18-hour reporting requirement.

The committee passed a substitute bill available here: HB 5459 (H-1).pdf (1.23 mb)

The bill requires a notice for a public meeting to be posted in a prominent place at the public entity’s principal business. It also requires posting of a notice on a public entity’s website if it has one.

The legislation requires that in the event of an emergency meeting that does not comply with the 18-hour notice rule, the public body has to make paper copies of the notice available at the meeting as well as an explanation for the reasons behind the emergency meeting.

The bill would also require that within 48 hours of the emergency meeting the public body must send both a letter and an e-mail to the county board of commissioners in the public body’s county informing the commission of the emergency meeting.

The legislation passed committee unanimously and will now be considered on the House floor.

Samantha Harkins works for the Michigan Municipal League handling municipal services and energy and technology issues.  She can be reached at 517-908-0306 or email at [email protected]

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