Sure looks like the “FOIA fix” is turning out to be a “FOIA flop”. We recently wrote an article detailing how the College of DuPage attempted to use this new”voluminous requestor” provision on a non-profit organization, and failed. It looks like other entities are trying it out too…and now there is help for those watchdogs that are not a nonprofit organization.
From IllinoisPolicy.org :
HB 3796 is effectively a watchdog tax that serves only to discourage citizen oversight of public bodies … In response to this outrageous law, the Illinois Policy Institute will begin a new program to assist Illinois’ local government watchdogs in filing FOIA requests.
The Illinois General Assembly on Dec. 3 overrode Gov. Pat Quinn’s veto of a “voluminous requestor” Freedom of Information Act, or FOIA, bill known as HB 3796. In doing so, the bill becomes law. This means lawmakers have made it harder and more expensive for citizens to fight corruption in a state that ranks dead last in public trust and near the bottom in public corruption.
HB 3796 is effectively a watchdog tax that serves only to discourage citizen oversight of public bodies. This is done by designating certain requests for information as “voluminous” under archaic standards.
Some local governments are already using the new law to prevent government watchdogs from accessing public information and to intimidate them.
Transparency delayed is transparency denied. Delays and charges made legal under the new law deter government watchdogs from holding government accountable.
In response to this outrageous law, the Illinois Policy Institute will begin a new program to assist Illinois’ local government watchdogs in continue reading at illinoispolicy.org…