McSweeney Goes After Local Governmental Travel Costs

A press release from State Rep. David McSweeney:

Rep. McSweeney’s Bill Would Bring More Accountability for Local Government Costs

Springfield, Illinois—State Representative David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills) has proposed legislation to eliminate the use of taxpayer funds for entertainment costs and to shed more light on the travel and meal costs that local governments incur.

“The purpose of this legislation is to create more transparency in local governments in terms of how taxpayer funds are being used for travel reimbursements,” McSweeney said.

“My legislation would ban entertainment costs.

“I think we can all agree taxpayers should not be footing the bill for local government officials to see movies, concerts, or live theater shows.”

House Bill 4379 not only bans local governments from spending funds on entertainment expenses, but also seeks to limit the amount of money local schools and local governments can spend on travel, meals and lodging.

It also requires the governing bodies of local governments and schools to better document travel costs, and to hold a public roll-call vote whenever money to pay these costs is being appropriated from public funds.

“I view this as a way to reduce costs for schools and local governments and in the long run these cost reductions will result in lower property taxes,” McSweeney said.

“I do not think it is fair to taxpayers to have property taxes go up every year and then find out that money is being used to pay for unnecessary expenses.

“We need to be looking at ways to lower the cost of government so we can lower property taxes and I think House Bill 4379 will do just that.”

House Bill 4379 has been filed and is awaiting assignment to a legislative committee.


McSweeney Goes After Local Governmental Travel Costs — 9 Comments

  1. I think this is a good bill.

    With Skype, teleconferencing etc we don’t need conventions, classes etc where taxpayers pay for travel and lodging.

    AT MCC I know a lot of professionals love to go on conferences and trips and that adds to costs.

  2. Ok great idea.

    But I wish the elected state officials would worry about fixing the state problems.

    Doesn’t matter what party your in, fix the state problems first before trying to fix he local governments.

    The budget should be a top priority.

    So many things are on hold or coming to stop because Illinois cant pass a budget.

    SO sad very sad!!!

  3. And just what does this really do to reduce the pension, prevailing wage, project labor agreement problem?

    Our elected officials continue to pass more laws and make new rules while our grandchildren go further and further into debt!!

    The inclusion of:

    “hold a public roll-call vote whenever money to pay these costs is being appropriated from public funds.”

    already gives public bodies an easy way to circumvent the restriction.

    If you really want to ban all additional benefits (other than a stipend), then BAN the darn benefits!

    Do not provide for a way to circumvent any restriction!

    Don’t stop at travel and entertainment, eliminate all pensions and healthcare benefits also!

    These restrictions should apply to all State offices first!

  4. @Karma: You are right on!

    In fact, they even get hotel expenses when they go to SCHAUMBURG!

    I’d take it a step further and require that any member of a public body that accepts travel expenses must come back with a plan to implement something that would improve X as a result of the junket they went on.

  5. Some local governments have problems just as big if not bigger than state governments.

    A huge cost saver and performance improver would be to more fully utilize YouTube in public education.

    That would help minimize the damage of forcing students to submit to the sub par monopoly school district teachers.

    The kid could watch the YouTube video of the best teacher to learn something instead of being left in the dust.

  6. Here’s an article that explains some of the local government challenges in Illinois.

    Cumberland Advisors
    by Michael Comes
    January 6, 2016


    The article covers the State of Illinois, Chicago, and Chicago Public Schools, but other municipalities and local governments in Illinois also have big problems.

    Not to be overlooked, as money from Federal and State to local decreases, local need for revenue increase.

  7. Finally something we should all be able to agree on.

    Assuming it has no strings attached and it is just as presented here.

  8. mchenry: The assumption would fall under the category of the definition of assume.

    McSweeney already includes the following:

    “hold a public roll-call vote whenever money to pay these costs is being appropriated from public funds.”

    God only knows what other exceptions would be included in the final legislation and how the proverbial ‘wool’ would again be pulled over the eyes of State residents.

    You have probably read about the GREAT changes made to the number of units of government in DuPage County because of State legislation.

    Now read the real story:

    You probably will not see this story anywhere else.

    The post at the link posted contains the following:

    “Illinoisans have suffered enough thanks to the smoke and mirrors of long-term politicians. We cannot allow ourselves to become distracted by gestures of reform or fail to look beyond the headlines.”

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