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Performance Evaluations For All Public Employees Exempt From Disclosure Under FOIA

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December 2, 2010

By Jackie Wernz

The Illinois Senate voted yesterday to join the House of Representatives in overriding Governor Quinn’s amendatory veto of House Bill 5154. The bill, effective immediately upon becoming law, amends the Personnel Record Review Act, 820 ILCS 40/11, to prohibit disclosure of performance evaluations under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

Performance evaluations for teachers, principals and superintendents were already exempt from disclosure under recent amendments to Article 24 of the School Code.  House Bill 5154 now provides similar protections for other public employees.

As we reported in an earlier FR Alert, Governor Quinn issued an amendatory veto of the bill in July.  The amendatory veto recommended that the bill only prohibit disclosure of performance evaluations for State and local law enforcement officers—not for all public employees.  The Governor explained that the broad exemption would be “a departure from the groundbreaking legislation that [he] approved just last year.”  Both houses of the Illinois General Assembly disagreed, voting by three-fifths majorities to override the Governor’s amendatory veto. 

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