State of Illinois Passes SB 2291 'Tollway Transparency Bill'

State of Illinois Passes SB 2291 ‘Tollway Transparency Bill’

Gov. Bruce Rauner today (Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018) signed legislation to better keep the public informed about pending actions of the Illinois Tollway Board.

SB 2291 amends the Toll Highway Act to require that the board of directors post an agenda for each meeting at as well as at the authority’s headquarters building at 2700 Ogden Ave., Downer’s Grove, two business days (rather than 48 hours) in advance of the meetings.

It also requires that specific details concerning contracts for projects over $100,000 shall be included, with Internet links to those details provided.

“This will better enable Illinoisans to have adequate advance notice when large sums of Tollway user-fee dollars are being considered for allocation toward transportation projects,” Rauner said. “We’re giving people greater opportunity to understand the issues and to provide timely input.”

Agency officials also greeted the meeting notice changes, stating they have always followed Open Meetings Act standards.

“The Illinois Tollway holds itself to a high level of transparency and welcomes any opportunity to further raise that standard,” Executive Director Liz Gorman said.

“Agencies such as the Toll Highway Authority must be fully transparent with their operations so that those who fund them can see how their money is being spent,” said Rep. Peter Breen, R-Lombard, lead House sponsor of the bill. “This is common-sense legislation I was proud to support.”

“I’ve always welcomed partnering with the Illinois Tollway on projects that benefit residents and businesses in the McHenry County region,” said Sen. Pamela Althoff, R-McHenry, Senate co-sponsor of the bill. “The agency is open and transparent with my communities and this legislation looks to strengthen and continue that public dialogue.”

The legislation passed both Houses unanimously in the spring. It takes effect Jan. 1, 2019.

SOURCE: state of Illinois news release