State Representative David S. Olsen (R-Downers Grove) passed important transparency legislation on Wednesday that would allow Illinois taxpayers to see exactly how their tax dollars are spent on appropriations to specific local governmental units or not-for profits.
“When State project money flows to local units of government or non-government entities, taxpayers have the right to know which legislative districts are receiving the initiative funds and how they will be used,” said Olsen. “My bill allows taxpayers to follow their tax money from the Illinois budget all the way to the end recipient and project.”
HB 682 directs the Illinois Comptroller to create and maintain an online, searchable database which provides information regarding the receipt of local initiative dollars. Specifically, the database would include for each initiative recipient:
- The name of the initiative recipient
- The location of the initiative recipient and the primary location of the performance of the local initiative
- The State Representative and State Senator within whose legislative district the primary location of the performance of the local initiative is located
- The amount of the local initiative
- The funding agency and the funding source
- The purpose of each local initiative
- The portion of the local initiative spent by the initiative recipient, and the portion that lapsed upon completion of the local initiative.
When presenting the bill before the House Government Transparency Committee in February, Olsen acknowledged that the provisions of HB 682 are contingent upon an approved budget being in place. “Once we have a budget, and if a capital bill is approved by this body, the provisions of HB 682 will go far in shining a light of transparency on a process that many feel is currently quite convoluted.”
If signed into law, HB 682 would take effect on January 1, 2018.