Shop Talk
1:12 pm
Tue June 7, 2011

Shop Talk - June 7

Macomb, IL – The panelists talk about a possible change to Illinois' open records law that's being criticized by champions of open government.

Lawmakers approved the bill during the waning hours of their 2011 legislative session. Governor Pat Quinn has yet to sign it.

The legislation changes the open records law by allowing cities more time to respond to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) filings by so-called "recurrent requesters." Those are people who ask for records more than seven times in a week.

Local governments complain that someone can slow down day-to-day operations by filing numerous requests every day. They cite the example of a man who filed 90 FOIA requests in a single day.

The Shop Talk panelists say that while the bill might be well-intentioned, it heads down a slippery slope. Why should a person be limited to a certain number of FOIA requests per week if he/she is not finding the information he/she is seeking in earlier filings? The panelists believe the public should have access to information from public entities.

Thanks to Illinois Public Radio for information about the legislation