A House bill receiving bipartisan support in the state legislature would make school districts and certain local governments keep a more watchful eye on travel expenses.
House Bill 4379 would limit spending on meals, travel and lodging by employees of school districts and non-home rule units of government. The bill’s sponsor, Barrington Hills state Rep. Dave McSweeney, said the bill is intended to minimize wasteful spending.
“If there gonna try to spend money on those type of things, there should be a public roll call vote so everybody sees what's being voted on,” McSweeney said.
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McSweeney said he decided to introduce the bill because of reports of overspending by school districts, including a suburban Chicago school district that spent nearly $50,000 on airfare and trips to restaurants and hotels over two years.
“At the local level, there’s no justification for entertainment expenses by local officials,” McSweeney said.
School boards and non-home rule local government boards would have to set spending maximums and require employees to document expenses as well as provide an advance estimate of travel costs. The bill likely will be voted on in the next few weeks.