* But it may be a good idea…
The Illinois House approved legislation State Representative David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills) is sponsoring to eliminate the requirement for the Secretary of State to do a statewide mailing with information about proposed changes to the Illinois Constitution.
House Bill 348 directs the Secretary of State to publish a proposed Constitutional Amendment, the explanation of the amendment, the arguments for and against the amendment, and the form in which the amendment will appear on the ballot on a website controlled by the Secretary of State when the amendment is published in newspapers. The bill eliminates the requirement to mail the information to people. Newspaper notices about the constitutional amendment would still be required.
“Eliminating the requirement to mail voters about proposed changes to the Constitution would save taxpayers about $1.3 million each time the Legislature approves a Constitutional Amendment to appear on the ballot,” McSweeney said. “I believe advertising a proposed Constitutional Amendment in newspapers and putting information on a central website is sufficient to get information to the public about the proposed changes. There is no need to add more cost to this process by sending information in the mail.” […]
House Bill 348 passed the House on a vote of 108-0 and now moves to the Illinois Senate. State Senator Tom Cullerton is lead sponsor of the legislation in the Senate.
* Perhaps a wee bit of self-interest contained in this newspaper editorial…
llinois state Rep. LaToya Greenwood, D-East St. Louis, decided to celebrate Sunshine Week, when open government and open records are celebrated, by co-sponsoring a bill that would allow local school boards to be less open.
House Bill 3660 would allow school districts to avoid printing a summary of their statement of affairs in local newspapers. Schools would still need to publish a notice saying the full statement was online, but none of the details that would tell taxpayers if something were amiss and worth further investigation.
The first problem is that not everyone has internet access or the ability or time to navigate to the information.
Second, public bodies are notoriously bad at following dictates to put public information online.
The Citizen’s Advocacy Center surveyed 750 public body websites in Illinois to see how many were complying with state law to post meeting notices, agendas and minutes. Only 73 percent were posting meeting notices, 57 percent posted proposed agendas and only 48 percent posted minutes after the meetings.
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