Senator Frerichs just ushered the Taxpayer Transparency Act through Committee. This "Sunshine" Bill requires that all bills making appropriations with taxpayer dollars be conveniently available to the public for at least 4 days on the General Assembly website before final legislative action. Read the release after the jump.
From the Illinois State Senate
State Senator Michael Frerichs - 52nd Legislative District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 14, 2011
FOR MORE INFORMATION: RACHEL CRADDOCK (217) 782-0663
Senator Frerichs Advances Sunshine Bill
SPRINGFIELD, IL –State Senator Michael Frerichs (D – Champaign) moved SB 2232, the Taxpayer Transparency Act, through the Illinois Senate’s Executive Committee with unanimous support. The Taxpayer Transparency Act requires all bills making appropriations with taxpayer dollars be conveniently available to the public for at least 4 days on the General Assembly website before final legislative action.
“All too often, the state budget gets passed quickly, sometimes in a single day,” explained Sen. Frerichs. “We work on the budget for months and months. There is no reason we can’t provide at least this 4-day review period before passing the budget. We owe it to the taxpayers.”
A “Sunshine Bill,” SB 2232 would ensure the public and the media have ample opportunity to review budget bills before they become law.
“Transparency is an essential part of making our democratic system work,” said Sen. Frerichs. “The Taxpayer Transparency Act ensures that all state spending is open to public scrutiny, and that legislators aren’t passing spending bills quickly or in the dead of night.”
The bill, now out of committee, moves next to the Senate floor for further consideration. A previous version of this bill passed the Senate with a 56-0 vote, but stalled in the Illinois House.
March 13-19, 2011 is National Sunshine Week.