Congratulations and Thank You! FOIA Reform Passes in Illinois General Assembly
December 4, 2014
Late yesterday afternoon, the Illinois Senate joined the Illinois House of Representatives in overriding the Governor's veto of House Bill (HB) 3796 --- reforms to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The vote was 39 to 13. (Please click here to view the Senate vote or click here to view the House vote.) Despite all the adverse press reports of late, our coalition of local government advocates prevailed.
HB 3796 included language proposed by ILA to increase transparency by encouraging, but not mandating, Internet posting of documents subject to FOIA requests. If the information requested was already publicly available on the Internet, a government body can refer the requester to the Internet document rather than having to duplicate and mail the information.
The bill also provided measured relief from voluminous FOIA requests while maintaining the basic principles of access to information. This is a complex issue and the ability of ILA members and others to present their case effectively was an important element in the bill's passage.