Illinois lawmakers nearly immune to transparency laws they wrote

All of the recent sexual harassment controversies surrounding Springfield lawmakers and House Speaker Michael Madigan have come to light without the aid of a significant transparency tool: the Freedom of Information Act. Illinois’ FOIA laws had been criticized as having too many exemptions and no real recourse for a government denial of a request. They…


Wapella holds FOIA distinction among Illinois state workers

From WAPELLA — There was a time when Wapella, a town of about 552 people, was pretty well-known in the Illinois Attorney General’s office.

In 2012, the DeWitt County village was looking for guidance from the AG’s office after 408 Freedom of Information Act requests were filed by private citizens for the Village Board or the village itself. Some of the requests were denied by officials and sent to the AG’s office for a review of the rulings.


Judge orders city to release police internal affairs files

From A judge has ruled in favor of ABC Newschannel 20 and other media outlets in a Freedom of Information Act case surrounding some Springfield Police internal affairs files.


The city is ordered to release the documents ABC Newschannel 20 requested. As soon as we receive them, we will report on them.

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Prospect Hts. lists FOIA requests online

From Daily Herald: Prospect Heights Mayor Nick Helmer announced Monday that Freedom of Information requests are costing the city so much that he has ordered the names of all requesters and what they asked for posted on the city’s website.

The list is under City Services>Administration>FOIA on the city’s website, The city charged the Water Fund $3,452 for FOIA processing in August, although it was not clear what period that covered.


Illinois policy group says 4 metro-east counties violate open government laws

From Belleville News-Democrat: Only two county governments in the metro-east passed an online review from an independent group seeking more openness in governance to prevent corruption.


The Illinois Policy Institute found 90 of the 102 counties in Illinois to be below the group’s expectations. And the group believes at least 27 counties violated state laws intended to ensure basic information was available to the public about the largest government agencies in most areas.


Local FOIA requests center on hot-button issues

From Daily Chronicle:

Local governments in DeKalb County received at least 700 FOIA requests from residents from around the country in the six months between Oct. 4, 2012, and March 4.

In commemoration of Sunshine Week, a nationwide movement dedicated to open government, the Daily Chronicle filed FOIA requests with local governments to see how people used the common information tool.