Illinois House Republicans hope to expand on the transparency measure they have already passed. State Rep. Ron Sandack (R-Downers Grove) and House Minority Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego) Wednesday announced the introduction of three bills.
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One builds upon the state’s transparency portal (http://accountability.illinois.gov/) by adding information from local units of government, including pension and retiree health care liabilities.
Another requires all bills to generate revenue, tax, or spend to carry an analysis of the impact on the state’s debt.
The third creates an Illinois Review Board to study the taxes, spending, and debt of all local governments in the state.
Illinois has a noteworthy number of local governments, particularly townships and school districts. Sandack, the former mayor of Downers Grove, did not deny the idea of the review board could be a step toward consolidation or elimination of some of these: “The recommendations and findings could be anything; and, so, is that a potential recommendation? Sure,” he said.
Cross says some of this is inspired by work done by the comptroller of Texas. “She had 40 town hall meetings around the state of Texas,” said Cross. “Not a single attendee knew how much local debt there was from their respective towns, and I suspect you’d find similar findings or answers here in Illinois.”