Thanks, Gov. Quinn

The Chicago Headline Club applauds Gov. Pat Quinn’s decision vetoing legislation that would limit public access to state records.

Quinn on June 27 issued a veto message in which he said, “House Bill 3796 is a bill that reduces government transparency by limiting the ability of citizens who seek public records under the Freedom of Information Act. The bill as proposed would make it more difficult for citizens to obtain a large volume of records. It would also slow down the process for individuals who lack electronic means to request or obtain information. Such burdens on the public penalize anyone seeking to learn more about their government.”

“The Chicago Headline Club is encouraged by Gov. Quinn’s decision to veto HB 3796 as the bill was a blatant effort to erode the public trust,” Headline Club President Fernando Diaz said. “The public and elected officials must ensure that government is open and transparent, and shares as much of the public’s business as possible.”

Stan Zoller, vice president of freedom of information for the Headline Club, says Quinn’s action “re-enforces the importance of not only open access for the media and public but timely access as well. Adding barriers is not only frustrating, but limits the public’s right to know.”