040924CM0512 rSPRINGFIELD – Military service members on active duty status who are members of a public body – such as a village board, school district or township – may soon be allowed to attend meetings remotely, thanks to a measure State Senator Mike Porfirio advanced through the Senate.

“We’re recognizing the invaluable service of our military personnel while ensuring their voices are heard in discussions that impact their communities,” said Porfirio (D-Lyons Township). “Every sacrifice made by our military service members deserves recognition, and granting them the ability to engage in public service remotely is a small yet significant gesture of gratitude.”

Currently, a majority of the members of any public body can choose to allow another member to attend remotely in cases of illness, disability, employment related to the business of the public body, a family emergency or unforeseen child care obligations.

Porfirio’s measure aims to include military service members on active duty status among the exceptions eligible for remote attendance at meetings if the cause of their absence is their performance of military duty. This addition recognizes the unique challenges faced by those serving in the military and seeks to provide a flexible framework that accommodates their service commitments without obstructing their ability to participate in civic responsibilities.

“By enabling active duty service members to participate in public affairs remotely, we’re breaking down barriers and embracing the diverse perspectives they bring to the table,” said Porfirio. “This measure is a testament to our commitment to inclusivity and accessibility in civic engagement.”

Senate Bill 2665 passed the Senate Tuesday with bipartisan support and moves to the House for further consideration.