This spring, lawmakers in Springfield approved HB1716 — a bill that makes it harder for citizens to freely access public information under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA.) Now the measure is heading to Governor Quinn’s desk, where he can either sign it into law or reject it.
Under the bill, public bodies can tag taxpayers as “recurrent requesters” if they make more than 50 FOIA requests in one year, 15 in thirty days, or 7 in seven days — a label that sticks for a year and means there is no set timetable for the taxpayer to receive the information requested.
The lack of a set time frame for reply will leave our citizen watchdogs without access to time-sensitive information that’s needed to keep a close watch on what’s behind fast-changing or shifting government decisions or plans.
Thank you for taking action to protect our right to access public information.
Policy and Government Affairs Coordinator
Better Government Association