The people who handle questions and appeals about public-access laws in the Illinois attorney general’s office had a busy 2011. In conjunction with this “Sunshine Week,” the office’s public access bureau released statistics that show more than 5000 contacts. Of those addressing appeals of the Freedom of Information Act or Open Meetings Act, spokeswoman Natalie Bauer says only about six percent were from reporters.
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“This is something that surprises people,” says Bauer, “statistically, you see that members of the public are more inclined to use the sunshine laws … as opposed to members of the media.”