As a member of the Illinois Senate, Iris Martinez introduced a bill last year to bring the workings of the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County into the sunshine. Her bill would have placed the office under the definition of “public body” in the state’s Freedom of Information Act. The bill did not advance.
Martinez, who is now Clerk of the Circuit Court, has since thrown her support behind an amended version of SB 583, which would subject her office to the Local Records Act instead of FOIA. This isn’t real transparency and it isn’t what Martinez promised while campaigning for the job.
The BGA joins the Chicago Appleseed Center for Fair Courts, the Civic Federation, the Chicago Council of Lawyers and the Chicago Community Bond Fund in opposing the amended version of the bill. The group’s letter to lawmakers is shared below.