SPRINGFIELD - Starting January 1, politicians won't be able to grant funds to community groups and in turn expect those groups to provide parade walkers for their campaigns, a release from State Senator Pam Althoff (R-McHenry) says.
Beginning Jan. 1, Senate Bill 2380 will restrict state grant dollars from being used for prohibited political activities. To more easily track state grants, Senate Bill 2381 requires the state’s Chief Information Officer to develop a system to collect state financial data, including information specific to the management and administration of grant funds, and make the information available on www.data.illinois.gov for public review.
The new laws were introduced in response to a four-month 2012 CNN investigation that revealed millions of taxpayer-financed grant dollars had been used by Gov. Pat Quinn’s Neighborhood Recovery Initiative grant program to finance a variety of questionable activities.
The money was used to pay teenagers to march in a parade with the Governor, hand out flyers promoting inner peace, take field trips to museums, and attend yoga classes. The Neighborhood Recovery Initiative program is now being audited by the state’s Auditor General.