BGA Notifies Johnson Administration of Possible Open Meetings Act Violations

The Honorable Brandon Johnson Mayor, City of Chicago CC:  Alvin Starks City Council Sergeant-at-Arms  Chairwoman Michelle Harris Committee on Committees and Rules   December 2, 2023 Dear Mayor Johnson:  In recent weeks, members of the public–including representatives of the Better Government Association–have been denied access to the second floor of the city council chambers…

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…


Transparency Watchdog

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. 

Policy Statements

Better Government Association Statement: Supreme Court FOIA Ruling Limits Transparency; Significantly Broadens Exemptions to FOIA

A unanimous Illinois Supreme Court ruling yesterday in a case called Chapman v. Chicago reverses a lower court’s ruling and blocks plaintiff Matt Chapman’s open records request for information from the City of Chicago’s Department of Finance. The court’s ruling undermines the public’s right to know about the workings of government and is a threat…

“ComEd Four” Trial Underscores Need for Strengthened Ethics Reforms

In response to today’s guilty verdict in the federal corruption of former ComEd CEO Anne Pramaggiore, lobbyist Mike McClain, former ComEd lobbyist John Hooker, and former lobbyist and City Club president Jay Doherty Better Government Association President David Greising said the following:  “The jury’s guilty verdict on all counts strikes a blow against the culture…

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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.


Research & Analysis

Department of Law- BGA Policy 2024 Budget Snapshot

Snapshot: Appropriation & Staffing Changes from 2023 Budget 2023 Budgeted 2024 Proposed Net Change Percent Change Appropriations $45,641,696 $46,427,927 $786,231 1.7% Positions & FTEs 427 427 0 0.0% Departmental Highlights Historical Context The Department of Law’s annual budget increases have grown in recent years, accelerating the department’s overall budget growth while headcount remained steady, in…

Department of Human Resources- BGA Policy 2024 Budget Snapshot

The city’s Department of Human Resources manages the city’s hiring, firing and employee discipline administration, including the civil service testing and application process. DHR also manages payroll, benefits and other major HR functions. Snapshot: Appropriation & Staffing Changes from 2023 Budget 2023 Budget 2024 Proposed Net Change Percent Change Appropriations $12,051,198 $13,792,309 $1,741,111 14.4% Positions…