COLLINSVILLE, Ill. – To increase government transparency and require more frequent debt disclosure by state agencies, state Rep. Katie Stuart, D-Edwardsville, is calling on legislators to override the governor’s attempt to block the bipartisan Debt Transparency Act.
“I am disappointed in the governor’s veto of a measure that would make Illinois government more transparent for the taxpayers,” said Stuart. “By requiring state agencies to disclose their overdue bills, late payments and penalties they hold each month, the Debt Transparency Act alerts taxpayers and lawmakers to exactly how much debt the state owes and how much that debt will cost.”
The Debt Transparency Act would require 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. Agencies already have the ability to compile and report data and are required to report annually to the State Comptroller, but the data is outdated by the time it is reported, preventing taxpayers and policymakers from having a clear understanding of the state’s debts.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, Stuart’s 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, instead of being kept in the dark by the governor. 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.”
“Transparency and accountability cross all party lines and serve the best interest of taxpayers,” Stuart continued. “I was a co-sponsor of the Debt Transparency Act to give taxpayers all the information they deserve and ensure that the state’s debts aren’t costing taxpayers more in the long run.”