Illinois government sector lobbying

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Taxpayer-funded lobbying is government to government lobbying. Counties, cities, school districts, public facilities, and associations of public employees frequently use public funds to influence legislation and appropriations at the state and federal levels.

This practice is controversial because public funds are spent to lobby for an agenda not subject to direct approval by voters, and outcomes may be contrary to taxpayers' benefit.

A report from the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform[1] found that Illinois governments spent nearly $6.4 million to influence their own state government in 2009.[2] The money was spent by cities, counties and other public bodies to lobby the Illinois state legislature and other agencies in state government.

Counties

From SR
Illinois county lobbying, 2005-2010
Main article: Illinois counties lobbying

Sunshine Review conducted an investigation that uncovered over $6.2 million dollars in lobbying spending by the ten most populous Illinois counties between 2005-2010. The counties are:

Sunshine Review found that most counties were lobbying the state of Illinois as well as the federal government: of the $6.2 million, $2,032,081.78 was spent on lobbying Illinois and $3,396,315.29 on lobbying the federal government.

It is unclear what is being lobbied for besides general appropriations. The federal lobbying reports of Cook County show that the county is primarily concerned with obtaining federal money, not with promoting or opposing other legislation.

Schools

Fifteen public community colleges and universities spent more than $1 million with lobbyists on contract in 2009. The City Colleges of Chicago spent the most, contracting with four lobbying firms for a total of $190,986.[2]

Police

The Illinois State Police has lobbying representation from lobbyist John J. Kelly, Jr. The 2009 contract between the State Police and Kelly was for $50,004.[3]

Transparency

The Illinois Policy Institute think tank recommends that Illinois follow Minnesota's approach to transparency in government sector lobbying.[4] The state auditor in Minnesota tracks and posts all spending on in-state lobbying by local governments.

Taxpayer-funded lobbying associations

The following is a list of Illinois government sector lobbying associations by type:

City and municipal

County

Health professionals

Justice

Emergency services

Public health and care

Public officials

School

Taxpayer-funded lobbying associations

Other

See also

References

  1. "Public Bodies Spent $6.4 Million Lobbying State Government," Illinois Campaign for Political Reform
  2. 2.0 2.1 "$6.4 Million in Taxpayer-Funded Lobbying," Illinois Policy Institute, May 24, 2010
  3. Governments Lobbying State Government, Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, 2010 (PDF)
  4. 2010 2010 Legislators' Guide to the Issues: Taxpayer-funded lobbying(PDF)