On February 1, I attended the Illinois Library Association’s (ILA) Legislative Meet-up at the Harold Washington Library. Both state and federally elected leaders were invited to meet with librarians from across the city. I wanted to learn more about our state library’s legislative priorities and have an opportunity to speak to elected officials face-to-face alongside librarians from a variety of disciplines.
This event, and others around the state which happen every year, allows attendees to sit around a table with an elected representative. It’s a welcoming environment where librarians are invited to share stories and ask questions of the members at their table. Continue reading ILA Legislative Meetup
The CALL Executive Board approved a resolution of thanks that I was pleased to deliver to the Illinois Library Association (ILA) at its annual meeting in Springfield on October 15th.
The well-attended Members’ Meeting was held at 11:30 a.m., and I was there in plenty of time to surprise Kip Kolkmeier, the ILA Legislative Consultant who did more than anyone else to gain passage of the Uniform Electronic Legal Material Act (UELMA) in Illinois. Continue reading Giving Thanks for Kip Kolkmeier’s Efforts to Pass UELMA in Illinois
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
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