House Passes Open Meetings Act Changes

Posted on May 22, 2014 by Dene Westbrook

Yesterday the House reported House Bills 5193 and 5194, bills that amend the Open Meetings Act (OMA).

House Bill 5193 prohibits a local unit from going into closed session in connection with anticipated litigation. House Bill 5194 indicates that if a public body reenacts a disputed decision in cases where an action has been initiated to invalidate a decision of a public body then that reenactment is not a defense to a criminal action.

Originally the League testified in opposition to the legislation. In particular the changes to HB 5193 are confusing and unnecessary. However there was an amendment added in committee to HB 5193 that clarified what was meant by “anticipated litigation” at the request of the League and the Michigan Association of Municipal Attorneys which was extremely helpful.

The legislation now goes to the Senate for consideration.

Samantha Harkins is the Director of State Affairs for the Michigan Municipal League.  She can be reached at 517-908-0306 or email at [email protected]

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