The deadline for members of public bodies to take the Open Meetings Act training course is approaching fast.

Pursuant to recent amendments to the OMA, members elected or appointed prior to January 1, 2012 must take the course by December 31, 2012. Members elected or appointed after January 1, 2012, have 90 days to complete it. The 90-day deadline begins the day on which a member takes the oath of office or, if not required to take an oath, assumes responsibilities as a member of the public body.

The training is required only once. However, any member who also serves as the public body OMA designee under 5 ILCS 120/1.05 must complete the training on an annual basis.

All members must submit a certificate of training completion to the public body.

The training takes approximately one hour. It requires members to review key terms of the OMA and respond to 13 hypothetical scenarios. Members should reference the Illinois Open Meeting Act Frequently Asked Questions for Public Bodies while responding to the scenarios.

Ashley Heard