Breen Passes Transparency Legislation that Shines Light on True Costs of Unfunded Mandates in Illinois

State Representative Peter Breen (R-Lombard) has received wide bipartisan House support on legislation to improve transparency about the cost of unfunded mandates on local governments. The bill applies to items listed in the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity’s (DECO) catalog of state mandates.

"Unfunded mandates drive up the cost of government and it is the taxpayer who usually ends up footing the bill," said Breen. "SB 2066 will shine a bright light on how state governments’ unfunded mandates are increasing costs. Hopefully, if lawmakers can see how these costs add up over time, they will work to reduce these unfunded mandates in the future."

“Unfunded mandate” is defined as any State-initiated statutory or executive action that requires a local unit of government to establish, expand, or modify its activities in in such a way as to necessitate additional expenditures. The bill would require that the DCEO catalog of state mandates include an estimate of the total statewide cost associated with each mandate. It is an initiative of the Lt. Governor’s office.

“In 2015, the Lt. Governor’s Local Government Consolidation and Unfunded Mandates Task Force looked into the alarming costs that local units of government are forced to absorb through unfunded mandates,” Breen said. “It was the Lt. Governor’s conclusion, and I agree, that legislators need to be made aware of and understand the costs they are passing down to communities and ultimately to taxpayers.”

With House approval of SB 2066 on Tuesday, the bill now moves to the Governor’s desk.

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