Champaign County, Illinois
Champaign County is one of 102 counties in Illinois. It is home of several institutions of higher learning, including the largest school in the state, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. Recent estimates pin the county's population at 195,671.
- Main Article: Evaluation of Illinois county websites
Last rated on March 3, 2013
- Elected Officials
- Contact information for county board members is posted.
- Administrative officials are listed in the directory.
- Current county budget is posted.
- Budgets are archived to 2006.
- Permits and Zoning
- Building permits and zoning information are available online.
- Local tax information is listed on the Treasurer's page.
- Public Records
- Does not disclose if the county belongs to government sector lobbying associations or disclose taxpayer monies spent on lobbying efforts.
Main article: Lobbying in Champaign County, Illinois
Champaign County has spent at least $50,440.25 since 2004 on government sector lobbying.
Taxpayer-funded lobbying is the use of public funds by governments to influence other levels of government. Counties, for example, will pay lobbyists to influence the state or the federal government. This type of lobbying is often not disclosed to constituents. Counties hire lobbyists on a contractual basis, have lobbyists on staff, or join groups which promote or oppose legislation on their behalf. Lobbyists also help counties seeking specific projects or appropriations.
For more on Champaign County lobbying, see the main article.
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Champaign County salaries are salaries paid to elected officials and county employees. The website does not include the salaries of elected officials. The website does not list a total number of county employees.
Main article: _(Sunshine_Review)|Illinois Public Pensions
The Champaign County website does not list the pension plan levels offered to its staff or elected officials.
In November 2010 a group of Champaign municipal leaders went to Springfield to air grievances over funding local pensions for police and fire departments. The municipal leaders said they could not afford the pension plans and were being forced to consider diminishing those departments because they do not have the funds to pay for police and fire employees and pay into the pension plans. In July 2008, the city of Champaign's unfunded pension liability for the municipal fire department was $17.3 million. According to the Champaign News-Gazette, local governments pay four times more into pension plans than what they did 20 years ago.
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. Finding a way to fund that $85 billion will be the focus of the 2011 general assembly. The Pew Center for the States reported that as of 2008, Illinois is one of the worst states at contributing to its pension systems. State lawmakers will consider selling $4 billion of bonds to pay the state's annual payment on the five pension programs it runs. In April, the state legislature created a two-tier system for all municipal and state employees—including teachers and state lawmakers—hired after Jan 1, 2011. Police and fire were included in an earlier draft but removed shortly before the vote. For the others, retirement was raised to 67.
- Champaign County official website
- Champaign County Assessor
- Champaign County Clerk of the Circuit Court Website
- Champaign County Humane Society Website
- Champaign County Chamber of Commerce Website
- Champaign County on Epodunk
- Illinois Colleges, Universities, and Technical Schools
- Census Quick Facts - Champaign County, Illinois
- County Board Meetings
- Elected Officials
- Audit Archives
- Bids, Contracts, and Agreements
- Planning and Zoning
- Tax Information
- Freedom of Information Act
- 'The News Gazette', Champaign joins state lobbying effort to change police, fire pensions, November 16, 2010
- 'City of Champaign', Report to City Council, December 11, 2009
- 'Champaign News-Gazette', Taxpayers Footing Bill for Increases into City's Pensions, February 7, 2010
- Illinois Issues, The Pension Chasm, November 15, 2010
- State House News, November 4, 2010
- 'Patch.com' Illinois Senate to Vote on Public Safety Pension Reforms Thursday Morning, Dec. 1, 2010