WHEATON – July 6, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today signed legislation to increase the ability of counties to examine the activities of local government units and agencies under their control. Senate Bill 541 allows the county board of mid-size counties (populations greater than 300,000, but less than two million) to pass an ordinance that would require a unit of local government or an agency to provide certain categories of information to the County Board.
“Since day one, my administration has been committed to increasing ethics, transparency and openness in government,” said Governor Quinn. “This law will give county governments the tools they need to ensure that the local government units and agencies under their purview are operating with the highest ethical standards.”
Under the new law, information that can be required to be provided by the local government unit or agency includes: finances, contracts, employment, ethics policies, or any findings of non-compliance with any law or regulation.
For the agency or unit of local government to be covered under this legislation, its members must be nominated by either the county executive or board chairman (whichever applies), and confirmed by the county board. The ordinance may also establish the frequency with which the requested information must be provided to the county board.
Sponsored by Senator Susan Garrett (D-Lake Forest) and Representative Michael Connelly (R-Lisle), the new law takes effect immediately.