Evaluation of Illinois state website
- 1 Website evaluation
- 2 U.S. PIRG rating
- 3 State Integrity Investigation
- 4 Transparency Legislation
- 5 Resources
- 6 Salaries
- 7 Benefits
- 8 Pensions
- 9 Public Records
- 10 External links
- 11 References
This website was reviewed on March 1, 2013.
- The site has a search function and is relatively easy to navigate.
- Links provided to state departments and other state websites are consistent.
- Internal search function is useful.
- Information is presented in a clear and concise manner, with website written in “plain english” instead of legal jargon.
- Government accountability page provides quick answers to questions.
- Administrative Public Officials
- Legislative Public Officials
- Members of the Illinois House are listed with contact information, committee assignments and party affiliation.
- Members of the Illinois Senate are listed with contact information, committee assignments and party affiliations.
- Legislators are listed with years of service.
- Salaries for legislative officials are available.
- Current and proposed budgets are posted.
- Budget briefings are posted.
- Budgets are archived for at least three years.
- Budgets can be accessed either as Excel files or PDF files.
- Unaudited financial reports are posted.
- Fiscal policy reports and three-year projections are posted.
- Interfund borrowing is posted.
- Quarterly financial reports are posted.
- Information on allocations and reserves are posted.
- A lobbyist directory is posted.
- Public Records
- Salaries for Illinois state employees is available in one location.
- A schedule of audits is not posted.
- It is unclear if the proposed budget will be posted within seven days of the vote.
- No evidence that appropriations bills will be posted online at least one week before being voted on.
- Administrative Public Officials
- Terms of office are not available for every official.
- Legislative Public Officials
- Date of next election for members is not posted.
- Conflict of interests forms are not online.
- Lobbying database does not specify agency being lobbied or purpose of lobbying.
- Agency lobbying contracts are not posted online.
- All grants given to non-profit organizations need to be posted online. The reason for the grant will also be disclosed, along with the contact for organization responsible for oversight.
- Executive and Legislative lobbying is not recorded.
- Disclosure of state-paid lobbying activity is not available.
- Public Records
- Information on whether or not executive sessions and appropriation meetings are broadcast online and archived is not posted.
- Needs information regarding public information violations and how to pursue them online.
- Process for reporting ethics violation is not available online, or it could not be found in search function.
U.S. PIRG rating
The scorecard that U.S. PIRG uses has 13 items and focuses on a separate state website that is searchable at the checkbook level. Sunshine Review, on the other hand, focuses on the availability of separate spending-related items; they do not need to be in a central database.
|Checkbook-level website||30||Detailed expenditure information, including individual payments made to vendors.|
|Search by vendor||8||Ability to search checkbook-level expenditures by contractor or vendor name.|
|Search by keyword of activity||8||Ability to search checkbook-level expenditures by type of service or item purchased, category, or government fund.|
|Search by agency or departments||8||Ability to search checkbook-level expenditures by branch of government.|
|Contract or summary information||10||A copy of the contract or detailed summary information is included for the expenditures.|
|Historical expenditures||5||Checkbook-level expenditure data from previous fiscal years.|
|Grants and economic development incentives information||10||Awardee-specific grants and/or economic development incentives are included in the checkbook tool or elsewhere with specific award amounts.|
|Downloadable||3||Information can be downloaded for data analysis.|
|Tax expenditure reports||10||The state's tax expenditure report is linked on the website.|
|Off-budget agencies||2||Expenditures from quasi-public agencies are included on the website.|
|City and county budgets||2||Financial information for some local governments is accessible.|
|ARRA Funding||2||A link is provided to the state's website that tracks funding related to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.|
|Feedback||2||Website users are capable and encouraged to give feedback about the site.|
There are several similarities between the checklists. For both checklists, the searchability of information factors in to how usability is rated. Both checklists have an item relating to contracts, tax information, and the budget. The U.S. PIRG requires information for quasi public entities; Sunshine Review requires information on lobbying, which includes quasi public entities' lobbying activity.
Unlike the Sunshine Review checklist with each check worth one point, different items on the U.S. PIRG checklist merit more or fewer points, depending on the item.
State Integrity Investigation
The 2012 State Integrity Investigation graded state ethics laws according to an "Integrity Index." The index was created by researching 330 "Integrity Indicators" across 14 categories of state government. The report assigned grades based on what laws are on the books, and whether or not they were effectively enforced. The report was a project of The Center for Public Integrity, Global Integrity, and Public Radio International.
Illinois received an overall grade of C, or 74%. It ranked 10 out of the 50 states.
|Public Access to Information||B-|
|State Budget Processes||C|
|State Civil Service Management||D|
|State Pension Fund Management||C|
|Ethics Enforcement Agencies||C|
|State Insurance Commissions||C-|
- See also: Illinois transparency legislation
- The second part of SB3976, the Redistricting Transparency and Public Participation Act, mandates four public hearings to hear from citizens in the existing Congressional districts before redistricting.
|State Board of Elections||State||Lobbying and campaign finance||2011||http://www.elections.il.gov/|
|CyberDriveIllinois||State||Lobbyist search||2011||http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/index/lobbyist.html (dead link)|
|Recovery Illinois||State||Tracks federal stimulus funds||2011||http://www.recovery.illinois.gov/|
|Office of Management and Budget||State||Budget info||2011||http://www.state.il.us/budget/|
|Transparency and Accountability||State||Employee info, expenditures, corporate accountability, stimulus.||2011||http://accountability.illinois.gov/default.aspx|
|Open Illinois||Illinois Policy Institute||Transparency info||2011||http://www.openillinois.org/|
|For the Good of Illinois||For the Good of Illinois||Transparency info||2011||http://forthegoodofillinois.org/|
|Follow the Money||National Institute on Money in Politics||Campaign contributions||2010||http://www.followthemoney.org/database/state_overview.phtml?y=2010&s=IL|
Illinois launched Sunshine.Illinois.gov to publish state expenditures, grants, public facilities’ inspection reports and more can be searched by citizens.
- See also: Illinois state government salary
State and Local Employees
According to 2008 Census data, the state of Illinois and local governments in the state employed a total of 790,539 people. Of those employees, 566,872 were full-time employees receiving a net pay of $2,491,829,151 per month and 233,667 were part-time employees paid $212,405,146 per month. Sixty percent of those employees, or 450,443 employees, were in education or higher education.
Illinois Governor Quinn signed a bill that will shed sunshine through “Illinois Transparency and Accountability Portal,” a piece of transparency legislation that Americans for Prosperity and State Representative Michael Tryon (R – Crystal Lake) spearheaded. The bill, House Bill 35, which created the Illinois Accountability Portal as a law, requiring the Department of Central Management Services to create a transparent website with information regarding state expenditures, tax credits, state employee salaries and state contracts. The only high ranking state official listed on the site is Gov. Quinn; other state employees, including Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Secretary of State Jesse White and legislators are not included.
|$191,124||Physical Ed||William Mitz||Adlai E Stevenson High School|
|$189,219||English (9-12)||James Liesz||East Leyden High School|
|$187,278||Physical Ed||Steven Heuerman||Niles West High School|
|$184,449||Physical Ed||Paul Parpet||Addison Trail High School|
|$179,253||Graphic Design||Archibald Loch||Adlai E Stevenson High School|
|$177,263||Guidance Counselor||David Bene||Highland Park High School|
|$174,656||French||Carolyn Dunoon||East Leyden High School|
|$172,164||Physics||Michael Wietlispach||Hoffman Estates High School|
|171,595||Drama||Susan Rothchild||Lake Park High School|
There is also a chart comparing teacher salaries to those of university professors:
|Subject||Illinois High Schools||Univ. of Illinois Main Campus|
Paid Days Off
Holidays Employees of the State of Illinois receive the following paid vacation days::
- New Years Day
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
- Lincoln's Birthday
- President's Day
- Memorial Day
- Independence Day
- Labor Day
- Columbus Day
- Election Day
- Veteran’s Day
- Thanksgiving Day
- Christmas Day
Dental Insurance Employees may opt for dental insurance.
- See also: Illinois public pensions
Illinois has the worst funded pension system in the United States. The Pew Center for the States reported that as of 2008, Illinois is one of the worst states at contributing to its pension systems. If Illinois' elected leaders do not address the state's pension woes, the bulk of the state's budget will have to be used to pay for the pensions rather than go towards education or social programs.
Illinois is facing a crisis with its publicly funded pensions. In 2010 state government was responsible for over $130 billion in pension payments, however they only had $46 billion set aside, which leaves an unfunded liability of about $85 billion.
No Chance of Federal Bailout
In the governor's proposed FY2012 budget, the options for “significant long-term improvements” in its five pension systems included “seeking a federal guarantee of the debt" as well as curtailing public employee retirement benefits, borrowing more and increasing annual state pension contributions were identified as other choices. U.S. Rep Peter Roskam from Illinois said that there was no chance of the federal bailout of the state pension system.
- See also: Illinois sunshine lawsuits]]
The Illinois Freedom of Information Act, or Illinois FOIA, is a series of laws designed to guarantee that the public has access to public records of government bodies at all levels in Illinois. The law was first enacted in 1984. The latest law was enacted in August 2009 and went into effect on January 1, 2010.
The Illinois Open Meetings Act legislates the methods by which public meetings are conducted.
To learn more about how to make a public records request in this state, please see: Illinois FOIA procedures.
- Illinois Transparency and Accountability Portal
- Illinois House
- Illinois Senate
- Attorney General
- Contact the Governor
- State Agencies
- State Telephone Directory
- State Agencies
- Cabinet officials
- Illinois House
- Illinois Senate
- Financial Audits
- Taxpayer Accountability Reports
- Performance Audits
- Open Bids
- Awarded bids
- Archived Awards
- Lobbyist information search (dead link)
- FOIA Contacts
- Ethics Decisions
- US PIRG, Following the Money: How the 50 States Rate in Providing Online Access to Government Spending Data, March 14, 2012
- "50 states and no winners," State Integrity Investigation, StateIntegrity.org
- Illinois Corruption Risk Report Card, State Integrity Investigation, StateIntegrity.org
- "BallotNews" Illinois governor to sign redistricting bill aimed at protecting minorities, increasing transparency March 7, 2011 (dead link)
- Civs Source Online, Illinois launches sunshine portal, March 18, 2010
- 2008 Illinois Public Employment U.S. Census Data
- State of Illinois Transparency and Accountability Website
- State Journal Register "State worker salary site lacks prominent officials" Aug. 18, 2009
- Champion News, 2010 Top 100 Teacher Salaries, Dec, 2010 (dead link)
- American Thinker, Let's hear it for the 'working class' teachers of Illinois!, March 14, 2011
- Carpe Diem, Highest paid teachers in Illinois: High School vs. College, By Discipline, Dec. 16, 2010
- State Holidays
- Benefit Plans - Health
- Chicago Sun Times "Pension funds may sell assets to cover expenses" Aug. 28, 2010
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- 'Bloomberg', Illinois Pension Funding May Weaken Even With Bond Sales, Moody's Says, Dec. 6, 2010
- "Rockford Register Star'. Combining Funds a Bandage for System that Needs Surgery, August 14, 2010
- Illinois Issues, The Pension Chasm, November 15, 2010
- The Chicago Sun-Times "Top U.S. House Republican rejects federal guarantee for Ill. pensions" Feb. 23, 2011