National Freedom of Information Coalition
Protecting Your Right to Open Government

Editorial: Public access woes in Illinois cloud Sunshine Week

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan released her office’s annual Public Access Report Wednesday, the timing of which coincided with Sunshine Week, the celebration of laws that ensure Illinoisans’ access to governmental records and meetings.

Madigan reported that the state’s Public Access Bureau received thousands of requests in 2015 for help in gaining access to public information – 4,770, to be exact.

Of that number, 4,381 requests for review came from those who were denied records under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act; 84 percent of those requests came from the public, by the way. And 389 requests for review raised issues under the Illinois Open Meetings Act, again with nearly 84 percent of those requests coming from the public. Continue…