News - Advocacy
Thursday, March 24, 2022 12:00 AM

Open Meetings Act Update

In late January, Representative John Damoose (District 107) introduced House Bill 5689 which will update Section 3a (MCL 15.263a) as amended by 2021 PA 54 of the Open Meetings Act (OMA) to allow cooperative library boards and local library boards to meet virtually if they choose. The bill was referred to the Local Government and Municipal Finance Committee. 

There is a political reality to the passage of this legislation. It should be noted that there have been a number of proposed revisions introduced to the OMA during the past year. None have moved past the introduction since mid-2021 with the political divisions we now see. (Some of these bills are documented in the MLA Bill Tracker on the MLA website.)

Now that it has been introduced, however, we have begun to reach out to Rep. Julie Calley, the Chair of the Local Government and Municipal Finance Committee, to have it added to the committee agenda to be heard. MLA’s Lobbyist Bob DeVries and Executive Director Debbie Mikula met with Rep. Calley in early March. Rep. Calley noted that with all of the bills introduced to update the OMA, global changes will be a focus in her tenure even with political differences. She suggested ideas for redrafting our bill with changes that the MLA Board and Advocacy and Legislative Committee are now discussing. We felt confident that Rep. Calley would give us a hearing and the opportunity to address the committee, along with other organizations that are frustrated by the limitations of remote participation. Dale Parus, Vice-Chair of the MLA Advocacy and Legislative Committee, and Director of the Ionia Community Library followed up with an email, as Rep. Calley represents a portion of his district. We will keep you posted with further details as this progresses through the political system.


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