Victors in FOIA disputes should recover legal fees

From Rock River Times:

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The Illinois Press Association (IPA) is urging the passage of Senate Bill 1514, which would allow citizens and the media to recover attorney fees when prevailing in Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) disputes that are not determined in court.

The bill, introduced by state Sen. Daniel Biss, D-Evanston, recently passed out of the Senate Executive Committee on a vote of 14-0. It now heads to the Senate floor for a full vote.

Attorney fees already are recoverable when the outcome of a FOIA lawsuit is decided by a judge. But some public officials have circumvented that provision by releasing information before a judge is able to make a ruling.