Most public employee performance evaluations could be made public under an amendatory veto issued Monday by Gov. Pat Quinn.

Most public employee performance evaluations could be made public under an amendatory veto issued Monday by Gov. Pat Quinn.


Quinn’s change to House Bill 5154 would exempt only state and local law enforcement personnel from the requirement that performance evaluations be public information.


The bill originally would have exempted performance evaluations of all public employees from disclosure under the state’s Freedom of Information Act. Quinn said that went too far.


The broad exemption would have been “a departure from groundbreaking legislation that I approved just last year, making our state’s open information laws among the most robust in the entire country.” Quinn said in his veto message.


However, he said it is legitimate for public safety officials to have their evaluations kept from public view.


“If disclosed, these evaluations could be used by criminal suspects or defendants to undermine a police investigation or attack the credibility and integrity of a police officer,” Quinn wrote.


“With this change, I am ensuring and promoting public safety while maintaining the integrity of the criminal justice system,” he added. “At the same time, Illinois’ new sunshine laws will be give time to work without significant amendments.”


Teacher and principal performance evaluations already are exempt from disclosure under FOIA. 


Quinn’s amendatory veto still must be accepted by majorities in the House and Senate.