A proposal would require local governments to make more public information online. Republican lawmakers are using the $56 million embezzlement scandal in Dixon, in which the city comptroller is accused, to launch a proposal that would make local governments more transparent. State Sen. Kyle McCarter (R-Lebanon, pictured) says he knows why those scandals are allowed to happen.
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“Because the citizens have not held them accountable,” McCarter says. “That’s the reason. We made the assumption that they’re going to take care of us and they’re going to take our money and they’re going to spend it wisely and we can go about our business every day. But we can’t.” The information that would be posted under this proposal includes financial audits, employee salaries and wages and campaign contributions from contractors. Advocates say local governments already keep track of most of the information. State Sen. Dan Duffy (R-Lake Barrington) says today’s technology should make the proposal cheap. He says he should know since he owned a computer consulting company for 20 years.
“So I know the price tag isn’t large, but it’s just the implementation of setting it up,” Duffy says. “After this information is up, it’s already out there, then it’s just a matter of maintaining it each year.” The proposal has not yet had a vote in a Senate committee.