ROMEOVILLE, Ill. – To increase government transparency and require more frequent debt disclosure by state agencies, state Rep. John Connor, D-Lockport, is calling on legislators to override the governor’s attempt to block the bipartisan Debt Transparency Act.
“When I took office earlier this summer, I made a promise to my constituents to do my part to clean up state government and tackle the state’s problems head-on,” said Connor. “The governor’s veto is a step in the wrong direction. We need initiatives like the Debt Transparency Act to increase transparency in state government and shed light on the state’s debts, which have tripled during the governor’s tenure.”
The Debt Transparency Act requires state agencies to disclose the bills they are holding each month, along with the estimated amount of late payment interest penalties that will be paid on the bills, informing taxpayers and lawmakers of exactly how much debt the state owes and how much that debt will cost taxpayers. While agencies are currently required to report this data annually to the State Comptroller, it is outdated by the time it is reported, preventing taxpayers and policymakers from having a clear understanding of the state’s debts.
By requiring more frequent reporting and greater transparency, House Bill 3649 gives taxpayers a clearer picture of how their money is spent, and would allow them to know the true extent of the state’s debt. In addition to receiving bipartisan support in the legislature, the bill is listed by the Better Government Association as one of their “15 good government reforms.”
“I urge my colleagues to join me in standing with taxpayers and voting to override the governor’s veto of the Debt Transparency Act,” Connor added. “This is a commonsense good government measure that will not only provide greater transparency, but also give state officials and policymakers the information needed to meaningfully reduce the backlog of bills and pay down the state’s debts.”