Illinois attorney general hopefuls pledge records access

October 30, 2018
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FILE - in this March 17, 2016, file photo, Illinois Sen. Kwame Raoul, D-Chicago, speaks to reporters on the Senate floor in Springfield, Ill. The quest for Illinois attorney general's office pits Republican Erika Harold against Raoul. They square off Nov. 6, 2018 to replace departing Democratic incumbent Lisa Madigan. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Candidates for Illinois attorney general in the Nov. 6 election pledge to tackle a backlog of appeals on denied public-records requests.

The attorney general’s public access counselor was created in 2010 to referee bureaucrats’ rejections under the Freedom of Information Act .

But the PAC had over 2,300 FOIA cases pending as of Oct. 12, with 1,300 at least three years old. A spokeswoman said Tuesday the number of open appeals is down to 1,900.

Democratic attorney general hopeful Kwame Raoul (KWAH’-may rah-OOL’) is a state senator who helped write the law. He says potential solutions include hiring more staff and changes in law to reduce denials.

Republican Erika Harold suggests more staff and more binding opinions. They have the force of law and set precedent.

The PAC has fielded 26,000 appeals since 2010. That’s an average of 3,300 a year.

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