Governments like to keep secrets.
It’s an attribute ingrained in the beast.
Even outsiders elected to office vowing transparency get pushed in the direction of keeping information from the public.
The local governments have gotten together and convinced our state legislators, many of whom are former local officials, to make it harder to get public records.
House Bill 3796 would “give government agencies more time to respond to comprehensive FOIA requests from everyday citizens, and — this is the deal breaker — charge them up to $100 per request,” as the Better Government Association’s Andy Shaw puts it.
Are you or any of your friends willing to pay $100 for information that should be public for the asking?
The bill was pushed through the General Assembly in just six days.
Hard to say that much consideration occurred in that period of time.
All of the State Representatives representing part of McHenry County, except retiring Tim Schmitz, voted against the bill.
But, State Senators Pam Althoff and Karen McConnaughay cast “Yes” votes.
Althoff is even a sponsor of the bill.
Dan Duffy was not recorded as voting.
Governor Pat Quinn, harking back to his days as a reformer, vetoed the bill.
You can find the roll calls here
The bill’s original sponsor was House Speaker Mike Madeigan.
Here is the original title of the bills:
Synopsis As Introduced
Amends the Regulatory Sunset Act. Makes a technical change in a Section concerning the short title.
You can read the bill here.