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20 ILCS 3960/4.2

    (20 ILCS 3960/4.2)
    (Section scheduled to be repealed on December 31, 2029)
    Sec. 4.2. Ex parte communications.
    (a) Except in the disposition of matters that agencies are authorized by law to entertain or dispose of on an ex parte basis including, but not limited to rulemaking, the State Board, any State Board member, employee, or a hearing officer shall not engage in ex parte communication in connection with the substance of any formally filed application for a permit with any person or party or the representative of any party. This subsection (a) applies when the Board, member, employee, or hearing officer knows, or should know upon reasonable inquiry, that the application or exemption has been formally filed with the Board. Nothing in this Section shall prohibit staff members from providing technical assistance to applicants. Nothing in this Section shall prohibit staff from verifying or clarifying an applicant's information as it prepares the State Board Staff Report. Once an application for permit or exemption is filed and deemed complete, a written record of any communication between staff and an applicant shall be prepared by staff and made part of the public record, using a prescribed, standardized format, and shall be included in the application file.
    (b) A State Board member or employee may communicate with other members or employees and any State Board member or hearing officer may have the aid and advice of one or more personal assistants.
    (c) An ex parte communication received by the State Board, any State Board member, employee, or a hearing officer shall be made a part of the record of the matter, including all written communications, all written responses to the communications, and a memorandum stating the substance of all oral communications and all responses made and the identity of each person from whom the ex parte communication was received.
    (d) "Ex parte communication" means a communication between a person who is not a State Board member or employee and a State Board member or employee that reflects on the substance of a pending or impending State Board proceeding and that takes place outside the record of the proceeding. Communications regarding matters of procedure and practice, such as the format of pleading, number of copies required, manner of service, and status of proceedings, are not considered ex parte communications. Technical assistance with respect to an application, not intended to influence any decision on the application, may be provided by employees to the applicant. Any assistance shall be documented in writing by the applicant and employees within 10 business days after the assistance is provided.
    (e) For purposes of this Section, "employee" means a person the State Board or the Agency employs on a full-time, part-time, contract, or intern basis.
    (f) The State Board, State Board member, or hearing examiner presiding over the proceeding, in the event of a violation of this Section, must take whatever action is necessary to ensure that the violation does not prejudice any party or adversely affect the fairness of the proceedings.
    (g) Nothing in this Section shall be construed to prevent the State Board or any member of the State Board from consulting with the attorney for the State Board.
(Source: P.A. 100-518, eff. 6-1-18; 100-681, eff. 8-3-18; 101-81, eff. 7-12-19.)