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Illinois passes another bill scaling back public records law

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  1. Freedom of Information
The Illinois Senate passed a bill on Thursday that will exempt the personnel records and evaluations of all public employees…

The Illinois Senate passed a bill on Thursday that will exempt the personnel records and evaluations of all public employees from the the state’s open-records laws if the governor signs it into law, the Northwest Herald reported.

The bill’s rapid approval in the state house and senate surprised many because Illinois enacted sweeping reforms to its public-records law in January. Since then, the legislature has been chipping away at those gains. Just weeks into January, two bills became law, one exempting teacher evaluations from the public records laws and another exempting a cemetery database. 

Illinois Press Association representative Beth Bennett told The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press the bill’s passage is a disappointment and it "sends a bad message for transparency."

While the governor has not indicated whether or not he will sign, Bennett believes he is likely to do so.