State Representative Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) is advancing her agenda for improved transparency and citizen access to government activity with a House Bill filed in Springfield on February 25.

House Bill 3134 would amend the IL Public Labor Relations Act, the IL Educational Labor Relations Act and the Open Meetings Act by requiring that all finalized collective bargaining agreements be posted on agencies’ public web sites for a minimum of 14 days before any vote to ratify an agreement can occur. The bill also would require the public or educational employer to hold a public hearing about the contract after the 14-day posting period and prior to ratification.

“We have seen too many instances where the public is the last to know when their tax dollars are spent on contracts that are not in their best interest,” said Ives. “This bill shines an important light on publicly-funded contracts and allows taxpayers an adequate amount of time to read and research proposed collective bargaining agreements before boards are allowed to approve them.”

According the HB3134, the public posting period and hearing requirement would also apply to contracts between a public employer and an employee where total compensation exceeds $150,000. “The public has a right to know how their tax dollars are being spent, and the provisions of this bill will go far in improving access to the information.”

The bill is currently sitting in the Rules Committee.
State Representative Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) has been chosen to serve on a newly-created bipartisan task force that will study how Illinois distributes funding to public schools.

Ives, a leading voice of opposition to last year’s SB16, which sought to fundamentally rewrite the school funding formula, said she looks forward to working with her colleagues on the task force. “Solutions to education funding equity and adequacy issues are far too important to push through without a thorough vetting,” said Ives. “As this is an issue that affects every community in Illinois, I’m pleased to see a bipartisan approach to studying the issue and finding an acceptable solution.”

According to Ives, last year’s SB16 has been refiled as SB1 in the 99th General Assembly. “As I study the new bill, I see a few changes but believe this is still the wrong solution for Illinois school districts,” said Ives. “SB1 still creates ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ and I am advocating for a school funding solution that allows all kids optimal opportunities for success. I hope the task force shares that goal.”

The task force, which includes 13 Democrats and 10 Republicans from the House of Representatives, will hold its first meeting at 3:00 PM on Wednesday, March 11, at which time the group will organize and schedule additional hearings.
In response to today’s Chicago Tribune report, Representative Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton), who just last month sought to advance a package of legislation aimed squarely at a $750K severance buyout that left local taxpayers reeling, had this to say about the new revelations that College of DuPage administrators spent hundreds of thousands on taxpayer-funded outings at the high-end publicly-owned restaurant on the campus of the College of DuPage.

“This is just one more example of the type of malfeasance that has been going on at the College of DuPage for years. It is also an example of exactly why the COD trustees need to comply with the legislative request that the Illinois Auditor General be allowed to come in and do a thorough performance audit.”

“I applaud the work of the Edgar County Watchdog group, whose determination in unearthing ethical and financial issues at the College prompted the Chicago Tribune to expose this latest misuse of public funds. It is clear that the Board of Trustees at COD has lost sight of their primary mission, which is to provide an affordable community college option for area students.”

“These recent revelations of financial mismanagement at the College of DuPage are not only the fault of the Board. I believe the senior administrative staff is also complicit, in that they have failed to protect the taxpayers who fund the institution. They are partially responsible and need to be held accountable.”

Rep. Ives was interviewed today and asked to talk about the new findings. You can listen to that audio here.

The Chicago Tribune story can be found here.