Ars has the story:
It’s not every day that a senator takes to the floor to defend “Internet blogs and other Web-based forms of media,” but Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) has done just that in his recent push to pass a Freedom of Information Act reform bill he has coauthored with two Republicans.
The Senate passed the OPEN Government Act last week (which builds on previous reform attempts), and the House followed suit on Tuesday of this week. The reforms in the bill make it easier for bloggers and other Internet journalists to make FOIA requests without paying fees, and they strengthen deadlines for agencies to respond to requests. Contractors who work for the federal government are now explicitly covered by FOIA rules, and a new FOIA Ombudsman will help resolve disputes outside of court. The legislation awaits President Bush’s pen.