The Better Government Association is urging Gov. Rauner to sign four bills, recently passed by the Illinois General Assembly, into law. In four letters to the governor, signed by BGA president and CEO Andy Shaw, the watchdog organization stressed its support for the legislation and outlined why these reforms are needed.
The BGA’s policy team, which operates separately from its investigations unit, is advocating for bills that focus on: streamlining the size of Illinois government; improving government transparency and accountability; ending certain pension abuses; and bolstering civic engagement through automatic voter registration.
In his letters to the governor, Shaw notes that each of these bills passed with bipartisan support and they are designed to improve the lives of Illinois residents.
Here is a summary of those bills:
- Streamlining Government. SB2994 would require every county to report information on the units of local government that’s needed to identify streamlining opportunities.
- Increasing Government Transparency & Accountability. BGA investigations in recent years have uncovered abuse of travel and expense funds by government employees. HB4379 would provide oversight and regulation of government expenses for local government agencies for travel, meal and lodging expenses.
- Public Pension Abuse. The BGA is a longtime advocate of cracking down on public pension abuses. In an investigation with the Chicago Sun-Times, the BGA uncovered that every year, pension funds covering government retirees send payments to people after they have died. HB6030 would establish a system across the state of identifying pensions annuitants who are deceased and stopping the annuitants’ relatives or others from illegally cashing those checks.
- Elections and Civic Engagement. SB250 would institute automatic voter registration in Illinois, allowing potentially up to two million people to automatically register to vote when getting their drivers licenses renewed. The BGA is part of the Just Democracy Coalition, a group of public interest organizations, which backed SB250’s passage.
Copies of the BGA letters to Governor Rauner are here: