BGA Policy Agenda – City of Chicago – 2023
Learn about the BGA Policy’s agenda for the City of Chicago in 2023
Chicago’s City Council is Ready for a Reorg – and New Members Should Have Their Say
The Better Government Association and the League of Women Voters of Chicago support a more independent Chicago City Council, but caution against letting the current body set the rules for the incoming membership.
Chicago’s City Council Spends One-Third of Its Meetings on Honorary Speeches
Chicago’s City Council is off to a slow start in 2023: Only about 40% of its time in session so far this year – or about two of every five hours between the opening and closing gavels– has been spent legislating. The other 60% was spent noting significant birthdays, retirements, tributes and other non-binding resolutions. …
Illinois Legislative Oversight is Weak Compared to Other States
Legislative watchdog is ill-equipped compared to other Illinois watchdogs
How Illinois Courts Are Hidden From FOIA
Transparency allows the people of Illinois to see into the inner workings of their government and hold their elected officials accountable. But there is still one area shrouded in darkness: the judicial branch of Illinois government.
City Council 101
Chicago’s new City Council will take office on May 15th. But how does it all really work, inside the council chambers? Join the Better Government Association’s policy team for an in-depth seminar on the history, rules, and workings of Chicago City Council.
BGA State Policy Agenda 2023
Our Policy Agenda: The Better Government Association policy team researches, drafts, supports and advocates for legislation that improves transparency, efficiency, equity and accountability in government in Illinois. We actively seek to work with other policy advocates, the public and government officials to advance these important goals, for the benefit of the people of Illinois. Outlined below…
BGA OpenGov is the Illinois affiliate of the National Freedom of Information Coalition.
Without access to information about the workings of government, it would be impossible for citizens to determine whether taxpayer dollars were being spent responsibly and equitably, or to hold public servants accountable for their actions.
The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Awards for Investigative Reporting: Untangling The Truth
Join the Better Government Association for a night of celebration at the 2023 Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Awards for Investigative Reporting on Wednesday, May 24.
Updated: Illinois Public Salaries Database
Review, explore and compare compensation for state employees.
Provided by the Illinois Answers Project
BGA Policy Statement: City Council’s Leadership Should be Chosen by City Council
A resolution introduced into Chicago’s City Council for the Council–and not the mayor–to replace retired Ald. Michele Smith (43rd Ward) as chair of the Committee on Ethics and Government Oversight is a welcome and overdue assertion of City Council’s authority to appoint its own leadership.
BGA Policy Statement: BGA Supports Resolution Requiring 48-Hour Notice for Direct Introductions to City Council Committees
The BGA policy team supports R2022-687, a resolution modifying Chicago City Council’s internal rules to require 48-hour notice and public posting of any measures introduced into the City Council’s committees.
BGA Opposes City Council Bill to Allow Redacted COPA Reports
New Department of Assets, Information and Services reduced spending growth by $1.8 million per year post-merger, exceeding $1 million savings target.
New: Get Involved
Tools to help you locate your elected lawmakers based on where you live and follow legislation we’re tracking.
See What the Illinois State Legislature Is Doing
Better Government Association believes in transparency and accountability, which is why we have partnered with FastDemocracy to bring you some of the most powerful tools to keep tabs on your lawmakers in Springfield and their legislative actions.
Cubbage: It’s Past Time for the City Council To Name Its Own Committee Leadership
There’s no reason for the City Council to maintain its unspoken power-sharing agreement with the mayor when it comes to committees.
Zarou: Aldermanic Ethics Reform Package Could Be a Second Chance for Lightfoot To Fulfill Her Vow
Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s track record on reform is a mixed bag. A wide-ranging ethics reform proposal could help her follow through on her promises.
Zarou: Zoom Meetings Make State Government Accessible. But It’s Critical To Preserve In-Person Meetings
From this point forward, online systems — on Zoom or similar platforms — should always be available for the benefit of those who can’t attend public meetings. But that’s as far as it should go.
Research & Analysis
BGA Budget Hearings Snapshot
Mayor Lori Lightfoot introduced her proposed city budget for 2023 on Monday, Oct. 3. City Council begins meeting on Thurs., Oct. 6 for a twelve-day series of departmental budget hearings, at which budget staff and department heads are available to answer questions from the alderpersons.
Analysis: Chicago Outspends and Outstaffs NYC, LA on Communications and Public Relations
Emanuel-era surge in CPD public relations staff, maintained in Lightfoot’s budgets, puts Chicago ahead of peer cities in comms spending per capita and as a proportion of overall budget
Search Our Databases
UPDATED: ILLINOIS PUBLIC SALARY DATABASE
Review, explore and compare compensation for public employees throughout Illinois.
ILLINOIS PUBLIC PENSIONS DATABASE
Follow the money paid to retired public-sector employees throughout Illinois.
Greising: Mayoral Runoff Candidates Are Overlooking a Major Public Safety Problem — Fatal Fires
Violent crime is an urgent problem in Chicago. But fires are killers, too, preying on people of color in poor neighborhoods.
Greising: If Vallas and Johnson Can Stick With the Issues, Chicagoans Will Be Better Off
Chicago mayoral runoff candidates Paul Vallas and Brandon Johnson clearly are ready to play hardball, not beanbag.
Greising: Annual Budget-Making Won’t Solve Illinois’ Pension Crisis. We Need a Far-Reaching Fix-It Plan.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker started his budget address on Wednesday with a passel of numbers meant to get our attention. During his first term, the state has eliminated a $17 billion backlog of unpaid bills, built a rainy day fund of $2.3 billion and repaid several billions of dollars worth of debt. The list went on. Then Pritzker…
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