A new law intended to increase public access to state records and information received widespread support from the public, the media and good government groups when it was signed by the governor this week, said Senator Tim Bivins.

On August 17, Governor Pat Quinn approved legislation (SB 189/PA 96-0542) that makes substantial changes to Illinois’ Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Senator Bivins explained that the state’s FOIA laws have been criticized for lacking the teeth to force government to comply with FOIA requests. The new law will enact strict rules, reduce the time deadline for government entities to respond to FOIA requests, drastically scale back possible FOIA exemptions, and penalize governments with fines if they are found to have intentionally violated the law.

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