Transparency organizations raise concerns about Uniform Law Commission’s redaction initiative

A letter from government transparency organizations urges the Uniform Law Commission to prioritize the public’s right to know when it studies the redaction of personal information from public records.  The June 17 letter was written by Sarah Brewerton-Palmer, legislative chair of the Georgia First Amendment Foundation, and was edited and endorsed by Todd Fettig, the…


Appellate Court Sides With BGA Over Chicago Officials’ Public Communications on Private Accounts

Public officials’ private email and text accounts are subject to disclosure requirements of the Freedom of Information Act, the Illinois 1st District Appellate Court ruled on Wednesday, upholding a circuit judge’s ruling in a Better Government Association lawsuit against the city of Chicago. “Allowing public officials to shield information from the public’s view merely by…


Watchdog group sues Rosemont over records related to Garth Brooks concerts

The watchdog group Better Government Association filed suit Thursday against the village of Rosemont for redacting financial information from public records that the group requested for the year the village drew country music star Garth Brooks to Allstate Arena.

The association contends in its lawsuit, filed in Cook County Circuit Court, that the financial information was redacted from a village response in January to a request to disclose all 2014 contracts for amusement events at Allstate Arena, which would include Brooks' series of concerts.


Opinion: Illinois’ Freedom of Information Act Must Remain Functional to Uncover Instances of Corruption

Ever since Illinois rewrote and bolstered its Freedom of Information Act in 2010, government officials of all stripes have done their best to chip away at it. Such is the case with a bill vetoed this year by Gov. Pat Quinn.

As lawmakers gather in Springfield this week for the annual fall veto session, Better Government Association President Andy Shaw says this is one veto that should be left alone.

Shaw writes: Continue>>>


Frank Gibson: Tennessee ‘sunshine’ dimmed by one watchdog’s assessment

Opinion from Frank Gibson via The Leaf Chronicle:  It will not come as news to anyone that Tennessee’s public meetings and open records laws fall in the lower ranks when compared to the open government laws of the other 49 states.

Now a new study by the Better Government Association that claims Tennessee’s separate government conflict of interest and whistleblower protection laws rank higher than our “sunshine” and public records (Freedom of Information) statutes.