Recently, a few new bills were introduced in the Illinois
General Assembly, and are awaiting action by the Illinois House or Senate.
Bill 4401 was introduced on January 8th. If passed, the bill would amend
the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Local Records Act (LRA) to add a definition for “junk mail” to each Act and provide
that the term “public records” for purposes of complying with FOIA or the LRA
does not include junk mail.
Bill 4402 was introduced on January 8th. If passed, the bill would amend
the Open Meeting Act (OMA) to replace one of the reasons authorizing a member of a public body to attend an in-person meeting remotely (“a family or other emergency”) with “exigent circumstances concerning a family member.” The bill would also add definitions for “bona fide emergency” and
Senate Bill 2665 was introduced on January 10th. If passed, the bill would amend the OMA to add a new reason authorizing a member of a public body to attend an in-person meeting remotely for “performance of active duty as a service member.” The bill would also add a definition for “active military duty” and “service member.”
Bill 4325 was introduced on January 3rd. If passed, the bill would
amend FOIA in a number of ways, including the following:
- The bill would update the definition of “commercial purpose”
to also include the use of information from a public record “for solicitation of
individuals for purposes of joining an organization.”
- The bill would also require a requester to pay in advance
for commercial request records and voluminous requests.
- The bill would change the way a public body responds to
recurrent requesters and allow the public body to notify the recurrent
requester that it will not be responding to the request that triggered the requester being a recurrent requester or any other request filed by that same requester for a period of 90 days.
- The bill would also allow public bodies to charge up to $10
per hour (over the first 2 hours rather than 8 hours) for personnel time in
searching and reviewing records, and remove the current limitation that this personnel
fee only applies to commercial requests.
- The bill would expand the FOIA exemptions to include communications
that do not pertain to the transaction of public business that are sent to or
received by an individual on his or her personal device.