SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – When Illinois lawmakers revamped the Freedom of Information Act in 2009 and created an outside appeals process for public records requests denied by state government, they made an exception – themselves.
Records requests denied by the General Assembly are not subject to review by the attorney general’s public access counselor, the office said in a letter this week to The Associated Press.
That exception for the Legislature means that even as Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner routinely discloses his appointment calendars, legislative leaders could deny a similar AP request for their calendars and emails – with no right of appeal. Democratic Speaker Michael Madigan – who has been in that post for more than 30 years – doesn’t even keep a calendar or use email, his spokesman Steve Brown said.