New Law Would Require Cost Breakdown For Unfunded Mandates

May 30, 2017

Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti

A bill approved by the General Assembly last week aims to provide more information about local spending required by new state laws.

A task force led by Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti found that Illinois government has imposed 145 unfunded mandates on school districts since 1992. 

One mandate, for example, requires schools to use soy-based ink – and local taxpayers are footing the higher cost.  Senate Bill 2066 would inform citizens about the cost of unfunded state mandates to municipalities. Sanguinetti said that, if a lawmaker wants a mandate, voters will know the financial impact on their city, county or school district. “And that’s significant, because then the voter can determine whether or not it’s something that we need," she said. "Money goes back to the pockets of the taxpayers.”

The bill instructs the state Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to publish the local cost of each mandate. Gov. Bruce Rauner is expected to sign the bill soon.