Open-government advocates urge state lawmakers not to try override.


Alden Loury, BGA Senior Policy Analyst, speaking at June 30, 2014 press conference regarding FOIA and HB 3796. / Photo by Patrick Reilly

The Better Government Association participated in a June 30 press conference supporting Gov. Pat Quinn’s veto of a recently passed bill that would have damaged the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, one of the state’s major public disclosure laws.

At the news conference, the BGA—along with other non-profits and open-government advocates—vowed to fight any effort to overturn the governor’s veto by the General Assembly in the fall legislative session.

Backing Quinn’s veto: Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office; Citizen Advocacy Center; Illinois Public Interest Research Group; Illinois Policy Institute; Chicago Headline Club; Illinois Campaign for Political Reform and the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois. Former Chicago Alderman and University of Illinois at Chicago political science professor Dick Simpson also opposed the bill.

Speaking at the press conference at the State of Illinois Building in Chicago were: Alden Loury, senior policy analyst for the BGA; Maryam Judar, executive director of Citizen Advocacy Center; Abe Scarr, director of Illinois Public Interest Research Group; Brian Costin, director of government reform for the Illinois Policy Institute and private citizen Tamara Brenner, who has filed FOIAs in her suburban hometown.

On June 13th, the BGA sent a letter to the Governor urging his veto of this harmful legislation.


The Better Government Association asked Gov. Pat Quinn to protect the people’s right to know by vetoing HB 3796, a recently passed bill that unfairly and unjustifiably raises significant barriers to everyday people getting access to taxpayer-backed information at the municipal level.

(Pictured from left to right) Maryam Judar, Executive Director of Citizen Advocacy Center; Brian Costin, Director of Government Reform for Illinois Policy Institute; Abe Scarr, Director of Illinois Public Interest Research Group; Alden Loury, BGA Senior Policy Analyst; private citizen Tamara Brenner. / Photo by Alexandra Gilewicz