Freedom of Information

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FOIA changes create 'nuisance' class, critics say

August 31, 2011
Daily Herald

By Jake Griffin
Changes to the state’s Freedom of Information Act allow government agencies to delay response times to individuals who are deemed to have made too many requests.

FOIA tweak could make getting info tougher

August 30, 2011
Illinois Statehouse News Service

Illinois Statehouse News

SPRINGFIELD - Ed Fleck said he believes the numbers on his water bill now.
But in 2010, Fleck and a handful of other people in tiny Wapella questioned whether the water bills they were receiving online from village leaders were correct.

Access takes another hit (Editorial)

August 29, 2011
Northwest Daily Herald

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn likes to sign legislation he doesn’t want you to know about on Friday afternoons.

Quinn was at it again last Friday, when he signed into law House Bill 1716. The law further erodes the state’s Freedom of Information Act – something Quinn and the state Legislature have been doing since FOIA reform went into effect Jan. 1, 2010.

In its seemingly never-ending quest to make public information harder to get into the public’s hands, state lawmakers passed HB 1716 in the spring before Quinn signed it Friday.

Perry’s travel, security costs will stay secret until after 2012

August 27, 2011
Washington Post

By Sari Horwitz, Published: August 27

Since Rick Perry joined the presidential race this month, his campaign entourage has included not just the standard array of political advisers and aides, but a squad of Texas law enforcement agents.

The security forces scout and secure locations days in advance. Well before the governor’s visit to Tommy’s Country Ham House in Greenville, S.C., the weekend of Aug. 20, more than a half-dozen suited and armed agents were giving orders to the crowd of more than 400.

Quinn OKs law giving more time for FOIA responses

August 26, 2011
Chicago Tribune

Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation Friday that gives Illinois more time to respond to Freedom of Information Act inquiries from so-called "recurrent requesters."

Government entities normally must fulfill FOIA requests within seven business days or 14 business days with an extension. Under the new law, the government has 21 days to respond to FOIAs from "recurrent requesters" and a "reasonable period" to actually provide documents.

State’s attorney wants commissioner’s testimony in hiring suit kept secret

August 23, 2011
Chicago Sun-Times


The Cook County State’s Attorney’s office wants to keep secret from the public the testimony of Cook County Commissioner Jeff Tobolski as he was questioned under oath about the hiring of a convicted felon and sex addict at a village sports facility where Tobolski is mayor.

Our Opinion: The city should err on side of disclosure (Editorial)

July 22, 2011
State Journal-Register

Sangamon County Circuit Judge Patrick Kelley ruled on Wednesday that the city of Springfield can’t withhold records being sought by a citizen who claims he was the victim of police harassment.

Public schools, private budgets

July 21, 2011
Chicago Reader

Charter schools are the fastest-growing part of Chicago's public education system, but how they spend our tax money is mostly a secret
By Ben Joravsky and Mick Dumke

Kelley confirms ruling requiring disclosure of police files

July 20, 2011
State Journal Register

A Sangamon County judge confirmed Wednesday that Springfield cannot keep police internal-affairs files secret in an alleged harassment case.

The city had argued that the documents should remain confidential under a clause in the Freedom of Information Act that allows public bodies to withhold documents that are considered preliminary or that contain opinions.