SB 2354 (Sen. Haine), became Public Act 99-0567 on July 15, 2016 when Governor Rauner signed the Bill into law. The legislation, which is effective January 1, 2017, amends both the Common Interest Community Association Act and the Condominium Property Act.

Most importantly, the Acts now provide that the board may close any portion of a noticed meeting or meet separately from a noticed meeting: (i) to discuss probable or pending litigation; (ii) to discuss third party contracts or information regarding appointment, employment, engagement, or dismissal of an employee, independent contractor, agent, or other provider of goods and services; (iii) to interview a potential employee, independent contractor, agent, or other provider of goods and services; (iv) to discuss violations of the rules and regulations of the association; (v) to discuss member’s or unit owner’s unpaid share of common expenses; or (vi) to consult with the association’s legal counsel.  This permits limited use of workshops, held without notice and without owners in attendance, to discuss the aforementioned issues.

Additionally, while board’s were previously allowed to discuss employment matters in the closed portion of a meeting (also known as executive session), the Acts now provide that the board may also discuss the engagement of any independent contractor, agent, or other provider of goods and services and interview a potential employee, independent contractor, agent, or other provider of goods and services.

Finally, the Acts are amended to provide that the board may consult with the association’s legal counsel during the closed portion of a noticed meeting, or a meeting separate from a noticed meeting.

In essence, while boards could previously discuss pending or potential litigation, hiring or firing of an employee, and violations of the rules and regulations in an executive session, the law has now been expanded to include the discussion of independent contractor employment, and more broadly, allows boards to meet separately from a noticed meeting (i.e. outside of an open meeting OR executive session) to discuss these issues, as well as to consult with legal counsel. To that end, certain of the harsh restrictions imposed on boards by the Palm decision have been alleviated.

Kovitz Shifrin Nesbit is available to assist you in determining the impact of this case on your association. Contact KSN at 855-537-0550 or visit our website at www.ksnlaw.com.