Greising: BGA Report on Pritzker Shows Illinois Needs a Law Governing Blind Trusts.

A law that establishes minimum standards for blind trusts might help cure some of the problems to which Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s trust fell prey.

Citing substantial spread of the Covid-19 virus across the state, Illinois Governor J.B. Prtizker announces a statewide mandate requiring masks be worn in all Illinois public schools, preschool through high school, on August 04, 2021 in Chicago, Illinois. (Scott Olson/Getty)

BGA President David Greising writes every other week for the Chicago Tribune Opinion section.

After Democrat J.B. Pritzker won in 2018, he and Illinois voters began to reckon with the complexities of a billionaire being governor. For someone with Pritzker’s level of wealth, conflicts of interest might abound.

Pritzker’s predecessor, Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, provided a case study of how not to deal with that matter. Not quite a billionaire, but hyper-wealthy in his own right, Rauner had established what he referred to as a “blind trust.”

It wasn’t blind. It wasn’t a trust. And that was just for starters.

Blind trusts are intended to insulate public officials from conflicts of interest arising from their investment portfolios. The person establishing the trust is legally blocked from any knowledge of the trustee’s investment decisions, and must have no other business or personal relation to the trustee.

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