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Illinois Public Information Loophole To Remain

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Performance Evaluations For State Employees Will Stay Secret

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) - Illinois legislators have voted to keep a loophole in the state’s public information laws, even though Gov. Pat Quinn wanted to close it.

The issue is whether performance evaluations for government employees can be released to the public under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act.

Evaluations for teachers, administrators and superintendents were made exempt from the Freedom of Information Act in January, and lawmakers drafted HB 5154 to expand the exemption to all government employees, the Rockford Register Star explained.

Legislators voted in favor of the bill earlier this year, this making to make the evaluations secret for all public employees.

Quinn used his amendatory veto to change the legislation so that only evaluations for police officers would be off limits to taxpayers.

But the Senate voted 48-3 on Wednesday to reject Quinn’s changes. The House of Representatives took the same action same thing two weeks ago.

Critics of Quinn’s changes say supervisors might not be honest in their evaluations if they know the public could end up reading them.

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