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