by Mark Cavers
On Wednesday, I sat with Sen. Susan Garrett (D-Highwood) in Senate Executive Committee to present a legislative measure that would increase transparency and accountability in Illinois. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Workers, AFSCME, was the only group to oppose this commonsense measure.†
Despite AFSCME's opposition, House Bill 222 passed out of Executive Committee with ten senators voting for it and only one voting against it. The bill would expand the Illinois Transparency and Accountability Portal to include salaries for all county, township and municipal employees. The portal already includes salary information for all state employees.
This measure would be a huge step forward for transparency in Illinois. With this in place, a citizen would not need to send onerous freedom of information act requests to multiple governments to find out how their money is being spent. Rather, a single visit to the Transparency Portal would yield salary information for all government employees besides those employed by schools. But, AFSCME is opposed to this measure.
In the same vein, the Institute worked with Sen. Bill Brady (R-Bloomington) in March to pass a bill that would compile information on employee characteristics, compensation and mobility, and post it to the Illinois Transparency and Accountability Portal. Currently, simple aggregated data on the stateís labor force is very difficult and in some instances impossible to get. With this information, lawmakers and citizens will have a clearer picture of the makeup of the workforce. But, AFSCME was opposed to this legislation as well. It seems like AFSCME does not want you to have a clearer picture of the government's workforce, at any level. It makes me wonder what they don't want you to see.