SPRINGFIELD -- Illinois prison inmates would no longer be able to use the Freedom of Information Act to get information from prison staff rosters, assignments and staff personnel files under a bill that passed the House on Thursday.

SPRINGFIELD -- Illinois prison inmates would no longer be able to use the Freedom of Information Act to get information from prison staff rosters, assignments and staff personnel files under a bill that passed the House on Thursday.

House Bill 4592, sponsored by Rep. Bill Cunningham, D-Chicago, would also bar inmates from requesting information that is already available in the library of the prison where they are serving time.

Inmates filed roughly 600 FOIA requests in 2009 and 3,000 last year. The bill would not affect the ability of inmates to get information regarding their cases, Cunningham said.

Rep. Monique Davis, D-Chicago, was one of three lawmakers to vote “no.” She said because most inmates read at a fifth grade level or below that they cannot be expected to go to the prison library to get the information they need.

“So what you’re saying to people who cannot read is go to the library and find the information that you need,” she said.

The bill, approved 103-3, and now heads to the Senate where a similar bill is moving through the legislative process.