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SPJ applauds Senate passage of FOIA Improvement Act



March 15, 2016

Paul Fletcher, SPJ National President, 804-873-1893, pfletcher.spj@gmail.com
Jennifer Royer, SPJ Communications Strategist, 317-361-4134, jroyer@spj.org

INDIANAPOLIS – The Society of Professional Journalists joins its partners in The Sunshine in Government Initiative today in applauding the unanimous approval of the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016.

Both the House and Senate have now approved the legislation, which is similar, but not identical, to a FOIA bill that passed the House in January.

“We couldn’t have asked for better timing – the day before national Freedom of Information Day, for the Senate to pass this legislation,” said SPJ National President Paul Fletcher. “What a great accomplishment this will be when President Obama signs this bill into law, 50 years after President Johnson signed the original Freedom of Information Act.”

The original FOIA was signed by President Lyndon Johnson on July 4, 1966.

The House and Senate now have to iron out any differences in the versions of the bill each approved. Then the bill will be ready for sending to President Obama for his signature.

“The House and Senate should quickly work through their differences and send the bill to the President,” said Rick Blum, the coalition’s director. “The public deserves a stronger and more efficient FOIA before the Act turns 50 in a few months.”

The Sunshine in Government Initiative members congratulate and thank the sponsors of S. 337, including Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Ia.), Ranking Minority Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), John Cornyn (R-Tex.), and Christopher Coons (D-Del).

More information about the FOIA reform legislation is available at SPJ’s “Fix FOIA by 50" web page and The Sunshine in Government Initiative’s “Fix FOIA by 50” website.

Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to a well-informed citizenry; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. For more information about SPJ, please visit spj.org.


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