Illinois House Bill 3796, which amends the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (5 ILCS 140), was recently enacted into law as Public Act 98-1129. This bill has been quite controversial, with many opponents arguing that it weakens the current provisions of FOIA. One such opponent was Governor Quinn, who vetoed the bill in its entirety when it came across his desk in June.
In his veto message, Quinn argued that the bill would “make it more difficult for citizens to seek public records” under FOIA while “also slow[ing] down the process for individuals who lack electronic means to request or obtain information.” However, the House and Senate both recently voted to override the Governor’s veto, with the newly-enacted law taking effect immediately.
With the debate being resolved for now, some explanation is in order as to how this law will actually play out for FOIA requests going forward. From the perspective of the Act’s opponents, two provisions of the newly-revised Act are the main causes for concern. Continue reading FOIA Reform Amendment in Illinois
Submitted July 8, 2014
Promoting UELMA in Illinois was the main project for the year. Education on UELMA for committee members was accomplished through a handout shared at the September 19 meeting and through the e-bulletins and webcasts of Emily and Elizabeth of the AALL Government Relations Office. Education on UELMA for the community at large was accomplished through the GRC blog.
The GRC met twice this year in person:
- September 19, 2013 at the Chicago-Kent Law School
- March 12, 2014 at the Lake & LaSalle Starbucks
The committee also held various phone meetings with student member Michael Verderame, who was being mentored this year by GRC committee members. Each member was assigned a month to mentor Michael and the arrangements of phone meetings and emails were at the discretion of the mentor and mentee.
- UELMA (SB1941) passed the Illinois General Assembly and is awaiting Quinn’s signature.
- Training was held for WordPress
- Two government relations articles to the CALL
- Several committee members contributed blog
- Mentored student committee member Michael
- Made the decision to commit to semi-regular update schedule of Finding Illinois Law Guide.
The Center for Research Libraries (CRL) devoted a recent two-day program to the vulnerability of digital government information, and one of the highlights was an important discussion of the special risks for “born-digital” information published online by the federal government, led by Jim Jacobs, Data Services Librarian Emeritus of the University of California at San Diego.
His presentation, “Government Records and Information: Real Risks and Potential Losses,” came on the second day of CRL’s April 24-25 conference, “Leviathan: Libraries and Government Information in the Age of Big Data,” held at the University of Chicago’s Gleacher Center.
“No one knows … how much has been created or where it all is”
Continue reading Federal Government Information on the Web: Here Today … Where Tomorrow?
In Illinois, a version of the Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act (“UELMA”) is currently working its way through the 98th General Assembly (as Senate Bill 1941), but UELMA isn’t the only pending Illinois legislation that could affect the production and dissemination of government-produced legal information in electronic formats.
In February, Illinois Senator Pat McGuire introduced Senate Bill 3288, which, if enacted, would make two key changes to the Illinois General Assembly Operations Act (25 ILCS 10/10, hereinafter “The Act”). Continue reading IL Legislative Update: Senate Bill 3288
Those of us who attended the November CALL business meeting were given a treat when our featured speaker, Kip Kolkmeier, provided a rundown on the situation in Springfield. Kip summarized the many issues facing the legislature – not only the usual budget woes and redistricting fights, but the enormous unfunded pension obligation that looms over the state right now. Kip managed to tell us the sad tale while making it extremely interesting and entertaining. Continue reading Kip Kolkmeier: Advocate for Illinois Libraries
The post below, reprinted from Kevin McClure’s blog, GovDocsGuy, is a challenge to library directors, so I want to highlight the post again in case you didn’t see it and take a moment to add a prequel that provides one director’s perspective. Now that I have given some thought to the matter, it occurs to me that I have never worked in a library that wasn’t a federal depository. Why does a depository matter now, in a world that shuns print?
I can tell you why I think it matters. The law libraries in the depository program have managed to keep the United States Code and some other important legal titles in print. We are the ones who took to heart the user’s need to be certain that an online document is authentic and unaltered. Continue reading Federal Depository Library Program still matters, still needs voices of libraries