(LFC Comments: Thanks to the News-Herald for this article on Senate Bill 293 meant to simplify the process for citizens to file complaints against the politicians that violate the Open Meetings Act. We will follow this closely as it goes to the House of Representatives for their input and passage.)
Bravo State Representative Nathan Manning
Here is the actual Senate Bill 293 with all its legalese: sb293_02_PS
Here is the News-Herald article:
“The Senate passed Senate Bill 293 on June 10 establishing a formal procedure within the Court of Claims to hear complaints alleging violation of the Open Meetings Law.
It was sponsored by state Senators Nathan Manning, R-North Ridgeville, and Louis W. Blessing, III, R-Colerain Township.
The bill provides Ohioans with a more transparent, timely and affordable process for filing and settling such complaints, according to a news release.
Under Senate Bill 293, to file a complaint against a public body, a person simply has to complete a form prescribed by the clerk of Court of Claims and pay a $25 filing fee.
If the initial complaint is filed with the clerk of the Court of Common Pleas, the clerk must forward the complaint to the Court of Claims within five business days, according to the release.
The special master assigned to the claim has 30 business days to submit a report and recommendations to the Court of Claims.
“Currently, the only manner in which to resolve open meetings disputes is through often lengthy and costly court proceedings,” Manning said. “Senate Bill 293 will be significantly cheaper and will reach resolution more quickly than current practices, increasing transparency and improving access for Ohioans.”
If the Court of Claims determines that a public body did in fact violate the Open Meetings Law, the court is required to issue an injunction compelling the public body to comply with the law and the aggrieved person is entitled to recover the $25 filing fee from the public body.
Senate Bill 293 will be now be sent to the Ohio House for further consideration.”