Rauner signs bill to limit local government travel expenses

Heather Weiner

Heather Weiner is formerly the Illinois Policy’s Government Affairs Staff Attorney.

Heather Weiner
July 28, 2016

Rauner signs bill to limit local government travel expenses

New law would tackle wasteful spending by local governments, and be a welcome change for taxpayers.

Gov. Bruce Rauner signed into law House Bill 4379, which limits the ways local officials can spend taxpayer dollars when traveling. State Rep. David McSweeney, R-Cary, and state Sen. Thomas Cullerton, D-Villa Park, sponsored HB 4379, known as the Local Government Travel Expense Control Act.

Aimed at addressing wasteful spending by non-home rule units of local government, community colleges and school districts, this law requires these local bodies to regulate and limit the amount officials and employees can spend and have reimbursed on business travel, meals and lodging. The units of government are required to establish these limitations within the next six months.

The law also prohibits reimbursement for entertainment expenditures. Any expenses an employee submits over the new limits will have to be approved by a vote at an open meeting of the governing board of that governmental unit or public agency.

The bill passed both chambers of the General Assembly unanimously during the spring legislative session.

Illinoisans pay some of the highest property taxes in the nation – which fund local government salaries and expenses. The state’s residents desperately need tax relief and government accountability on the local level. This new law is a commonsense step toward responsible stewardship of local tax dollars.

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