Champaign County officials say they are facing a host of critical repairs and improvements that need to be made at county buildings but have been deferred for years.
In response, they have proposed a 0.25 percent sales tax referendum they say will cost a median-income household only $20 per year.
Congressman Brad Schneider (D-IL 10th District) was one of the top campaign spenders among Illinois candidates running for the U.S. House of Representatives in 2016.
For the competitive race in District 10, he reported expenditures of about $5.6 million in the 2015-2016 election cycle. But for this year’s race, he only spent $1.5 million so far, according to federal election records.
Last year, the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) spent $276 on books for its educational programming across 28 correctional facilities, according to data obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. In comparison, the state prison system spent roughly $750,000 each year on books in the early 2000s. In 2005, spending on books dropped to $264,000.
In the fiscal year ending June 30, 2016, the city’s public works department responded to 329 pothole service requests from residents — a slight decrease from the 397 service requests in the previous fiscal year.
“I think our patrons are pretty used to how the system works,” said Kelly Strom, collection manager at the Champaign Public Library. “If they don’t want to wait on a holds list, then they can get a rental book if it’s available for that particular title. Otherwise, they seem to go pretty quickly because we buy so many copies.”
“The state of Illinois expects us to spend more than half a million dollars and maybe – or maybe not – get reimbursed for it in this fiscal year,” said Isak Griffiths, the executive director of Courage Connection. “That’s a huge burden to put on a social service agency.”
If you want to watchdog your local or state government, using the Illinois Freedom of Information Act is one of the best ways to go.
So CU-CitizenAccess.org is offering how-to guides on how to file effective Freedom of Information requests.
Four of the seven Illinois governors elected from 1960 through 2006 went on to serve time in prison, so it’s no surprise that Illinois has developed a reputation more criminal than credible.
Nor is it surprising that Illinois earned a D+ in the State Integrity Investigation, an assessment of state government transparency and accountability by the Center for Public Integrity and Global Integrity.