Senate Judiciary OKs FOIA Bill

The Senate Judiciary Committee has unanimously approved the FOIA Improvement Act.  

The bill had a leg up in the bipartisanship department— it was co-authored by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), former chairman and current ranking member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and current committee chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), who is an original co-sponsor of the bill. 

The bill, a version of which was introduced in the last Congress, was reintroduced earlier this week. It would require a "presumption of openness" when considering the release of government information to journalists and the public under the FOIA and addresses the overuse of exemptions that allow government agencies to withhold information. It also puts more teeth in the Office of Government Information Services, which was created by the Leahy-Cornwyn OPEN Government Act in 2007.

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John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.