The Chicago Sun-Times ran an article yesterday that took three years to write.
It was about how UNO, the charter school outfit backed by House Speaker Mike Madigan, spent money provided by governments.
Since UNO doesn’t operate in our back yard, my interest was not piqued until I found this paragraph in an accompanying editorial:
Being able to file Freedom of Information requests of not-for-profit organizations who are financed with tax dollars is not written into state law.
I know because I tried to get such a bill passed in the 1970’s. It impressed the Daily Herald’s cartoonist, a Wonder Lake resident, that he drew a cartoon of my lifting up something to find out what was under it.
After I read the editorial, this thought occurred to me:
Why couldn’t the McHenry County Board write into contracts which funnel money to local not-for-profits a requirement that they respond to FOIA requests or forfeit their grant?
There should be an appeal mechanism, because some may not want to make board minutes, employee names and salaries, plus expenditures and other information that clients, media and others might seek.
The State’s Attorney’s Office could play that role.
Just put it in the grant contract.