Discussion On Illinois’ Open Records Law

sunshineThis is Sunshine Week, set aside to focus attention on transparency in government.   Bruce Rushton, reporter for the Illinois Times, and attorney Don Craven join Sean Crawford to talk about public records laws in Illinois and have things gone from bad to worse when it comes to ensuring the public’s right to know:

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Attorney General Madigan’s office says the public records law should be improved.  But staff attorney Ann Spillane says it is unfair to blame Madigan.  She says the judge’s ruling in the Rock River Times case took a different view than the law’s intent.  She says work continues to craft new legislation.  She says anyone who is critical of the law should ask “Are you worse off now than prior to 2010?”

Spillane chose not to appear in this interview, but has indicated an interest in being part of a future discussion.  That invitation remains open.

Attorney General Madigan’s office says the public records law should be improved.  But staff attorney Ann Spillane says it is unfair to blame Madigan.  She says the judge’s ruling in the Rock River Times case took a different view than the law’s intent.  She says work continues to craft new legislation.  She says anyone who is critical of the law should ask “Are you worse off now than prior to 2010?”

Spillane chose not to appear in this interview, but has indicated an interest in being part of a future discussion.  That invitation remains open.

UIS spokesman Derek Schnapp told us regarding the case that was mentioned…. that “The University, since the beginning, has said this matter was about protecting the privacy of the students.”
He also says  The University followed the law and FOIA process.  Schnapp says the university was protecting the privacy of students.  He says the university complied with the Attorney General’s ruling on FOIA and the county judge’s ruling in this matter in which it was stated that the documents are protected by the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

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