The legislative intent of the Act is as follows: "The basic premise of the sunshine legislation is that, in the words of Federalist No. 49 [James Madison or Alexander Hamilton, 1788] , 'the people are the only legitimate foundation of power, and it is from them that the constitutional charter ... is derived.' Government is and should be the servant of the people, and it should be fully accountable to them for the actions which it supposedly takes on their behalf."
OMA in Illinois
"It is the public policy of this State that public bodies exist to aid in the conduct of the people’s business and that the people have a right to be informed as to the conduct of their business." - Illinois Open Meetings Act, 5 ILCS 120/1.
The following are OMA cases that the Craven Law Office actively participated in.
Illinois Press Ass'n v. Ryan - Declaratory judgment action against Governor brought by the Illinois Press Association and member newspapers seeking a determination that the Illinois Constitution required the Legislative Branch's Ethics Commission, which was created under State Gif Ban, to conduct its proceedings in public. The circuit court ruled that the commission had to meet publicly. The Supreme Court vacated and dismissed on the ground that the Governor was not a proper defendant.
Roxana v. WRB - Taxing districts brought an action pursuant to the Open Meetings Act, against the Illinois Pollution Control Board (PCB) and the refinery company, alleging that the proceedings on the company's application for preferential tax treatment for improvements to refinery violated the Act. The circuit court granted taxing districts' motion for preliminary injunction against future meetings. The Appellate Court held that the preliminary injunction did not have to be supported by verified pleadings as the refinery company was given prior notice and the limited pleading requirements applied to the preliminary injunction as the Open Meetings Act expressly provided for it. The Court also held that the trial court did not abuse its discretion by granting a preliminary injunction against all meetings in likely violation of the Open Meetings Act pending a determination of the merits and that the preliminary injunction was improperly limited in its scope to proceedings pertaining to the named parities.
Board of Regents of Regency University System v. Reynard - The court overruled its prior holding in Pope v. Parkinson, determining that the Faculty Senate, as a structural matter, was part of the hierarchy of Illinois State University, and was a public body. Having determined that a violation of the Act had occurred, it was incumbent on the court to impose a remedy.