“Sunshine” in government was the theme of the day, as a measure sponsored by State Sen. Michael Connelly (R-Wheaton) was signed into law by Governor Bruce Rauner on September 22.
“Any public body that appropriates taxpayer monies, should expect to be held to a higher level of transparency. Our move to help rein in abuses by the former College of DuPage Board of Trustees is just a small step towards helping to reestablish the public’s faith in the institution,” Connelly said.
House Bill 3593 will help curb excessive severance packages at community colleges. Connelly sponsored the bill as a part of the legislative response to the now on-going federal investigation into College of DuPage President Robert Breuder.
The new law limits community college employment contracts to four years, if they have “determinate” dates. Additionally, severance packages would be limited to only one-year of pay and benefits. Any contract extension or benefit increase must be heard before a public hearing and voted on by a Board of Trustees, thus not in an executive, closed-door session.
The Senator also passed legislation that would effectively ban the use of public tax dollars to publish what amounted to campaign mailers in the weekend before the recent consolidated elections.
House Bill 3593 took effect on Sept. 22.