FOIA Firestorm Sparked

Advocates for government transparency still have a fight ahead over the state's Freedom of Information Act. That's despite a temporary reprieve yesterday.

Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie, of Chicago, caught transparency advocates off guard last week, with just a handful of days remaining in the legislative session. She introduced a plan that would make it harder for members of the public to obtain government information. It would also make it harder for citizens to recover legal fees when governments illegally withhold documents.

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Editorial: a cloud over Florida’s Sunshine Laws

In Florida we pride ourselves on our policy of government in the sunshine. We expect all aspects of lawmaking and enforcement to be transparent so voters can see and participate in our democratic process and have access to relevant information to hold elected officials accountable.

Most governors have honored this commitment to open government and have tried to follow the spirit of the law.

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Last Minute Rush To Change Freedom Of Information Act

Illinois residents could have a harder time accessing government information under new legislation before the General Assembly. 

The plan, SB2799, makes it harder for people to get repaid legal costs when a government wrongfully denies access to public documents.

At the same time, it makes it easier for governments to keep certain information off-limits. Continue>>> 

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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>>>
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Editorial: The People’s Law Turns 40

The other day, a local woman approached a Gazette editor and regaled him with tales of her experience trying to get information from a local government.

She complained that her request for information wasn't honored in a timely manner, that government officials kept pushing back the date of when they said the information would be available, and then threatened her if she continued to badger them.

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Open Government Activist Seeks New Jersey Government Records

In another action brought by John Paff, a “self-proclaimed open government activist” who has pursued litigation to secure government documents pursuant to the Open Public Record Acts (“OPRA”) in several instances, a Superior Court judge held that Paff was entitled to the documents he sought as well as attorneys’ fees associated with the action.

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