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Peoria County, Illinois

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Peoria County is one of 102 counties in Illinois. The county has a population of 185,816.[1]

Website evaluation

Main article: Evaluation of Illinois county websites
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Budget Y
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Meetings Y
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Elected Officials Y
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Administrative Officials Y
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Permits, zoning Y
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Audits Y
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Contracts P
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Lobbying N
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Public records Y
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Local taxes Y
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Transparency grading process


The good

  • A full listing of county board members and their contact information are provided.[2]
  • Board meeting minutes and agendas are available, with meetings listed on the calendar.[3][4]
  • Information on building and zoning is available.[5]
  • Audits are posted through 2010.[6]
  • Includes an online property and tax information database.[7]
  • FOIA information is provided.[8]
  • The site includes an archive of annual budgets for the county.[9]
  • Bids and RFPs are posted.[10]

The bad

Lobbying

Main article: Lobbying in Peoria County, Illinois

Peoria County has spent at least $266,568 since 1999 on government sector lobbying.

Peoria County's lobbying consists of two contracts with lobbyists, including Anderson Legislative Consulting. It belongs to 20 government sector lobbying associations, including the Illinois Association of County Officials.

For more on Peoria County lobbying, see the main article.

Lobbying since 1999
$ lobbying total $ Illinois $ federal government $ lobbying groups # lobbying contracts # lobbying groups
$442,014.90 $128,000 $135,568 $178,446.90 2 20

Salaries

Peoria County pays salaries to county employees and elected officials. The Peoria County website does not include information about salaries paid to county employees or elected officials.

The county website also does not include the number of employees on the county payroll. Some county department websites include information about the number of employees in that section. For example, an organizational chart for the county auditor includes the names of employees and their positions within the department.[11]

Pensions

Main article: Illinois public pensions

Peoria County employees who work more than 1,000 hours in a calendar year for at least eight years and are under the age of 70 qualify to participate in the county pension plan. The plan is provided by the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund. Employees are eligible for full benefits after 35 years of county employment. However, the Peoria County website does not include information about the county's pension liability.[12]

In Peoria County some of the municipalities are facing pension troubles, as well. The city of Peoria faces an unfunded pension liability of $120 million. Increased concerns over pension liabilities are forcing local governments like Peoria to cut service levels due to funding concerns.[13]

Illinois is facing a crisis with its publicly funded pensions. In 2010, state government was responsible for over $130 billion in pension payments; however, the state had only $46 billion set aside, leaving an unfunded liability of about $85 billion. Finding a way to fund that $85 billion was to be the focus of the 2011 session of the Illinois General Assembly. The Pew Center for the States reported that as of 2008, Illinois was one of the worst states at contributing to its pension. State lawmakers were expected to consider selling $4 billion worth of bonds to pay the state's annual payment on the five pension programs it runs. In April 2010, 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.[14][15][16][17]

External links

References