SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – In a bid to improve government transparency State Rep. Sue Scherer, D-Decatur, co-sponsored legislation requiring local governments to inform the public when they enter in sexual harassment settlements.
“Taxpayers deserve to be informed when public officials are removed because of misdeeds,” Scherer said. “We need to be working to increase government transparency, especially when there are alleged wrongdoings.”
The Scherer sponsored House Bill 4242, a bipartisan measure, requires any unit of local government receiving revenue from taxes to notify the public when they enter into a severance agreement with an employee or contractor accused of sexual harassment or discrimination.
Under this legislation, the units of government must provide the name of the person receiving the severance payment, the amount of the severance payment, and the fact that the person receiving the payment stands accused of sexual harassment or sexual discrimination. The legislation also requires the public to be notified by newspaper and public website within 72 hours after a severance agreement is made.
“Requiring a 72 hour public notification holds local governments accountable so they can’t try to sweep things like sexual harassment under the rug,” Scherer said. “Without transparency, no one can be held accountable if something goes wrong.”
Scherer represents the 96th District, which includes portions of Christian, Macon and Sangamon counties.