- Published: Monday, July 25, 2016 12:22 PM
SPRINGFIELD — State Senator Tom Cullerton’s measure to increase government transparency and the responsible use of taxpayer dollars was signed into law on Friday.
House Bill 4379 will to regulate all travel, meal and lodging expenses for officers and employees.
“Transparency is essential,” said Cullerton, a Democrat from Villa Park. “Illinois taxpayers should have access to the way state dollars are spent to guarantee funds are being spent responsibly and efficiently.”
The new law will create the Local Government Travel Expense Control Act, which will require non-home-rule units of government, school districts and community college districts to regulate travel, meal and lodging expenses.
“People should have access to how taxpayer dollars are spent to ensure money is being spent responsibly and effectively,” Cullerton said.
News of lavish expenses at the College of DuPage brought up cases illustrating the abuse of public funds by employees.
“We all know that public transparency promotes better decisions,” Cullerton said. “Public funds need to be spent wisely to maximize efficiency.”
Certain documentation will be required to be submitted in writing to school boards or corporate entities before the expenses can be approved by a roll call vote at an open meeting. The will be public record that would be subject to FOIA.
“The Better Government Association celebrates Governor Rauner signing HB4379 into law, this new law will provide oversight and regulation of local government expenses,” Judy Stevens, policy coordinator at the Better Government Association, said. “The law also empowers local government agencies to set regulations so that our money can be spent most efficiently. This new law is a step forward for our state and will bring accountability to the taxpayers of Illinois on how their money is being spent while saving the state money.”
The new law goes into effect January 1, 2017.