It’s a storyline we’ve become all too familiar with at the Better Government Association: Local government officials travel to conferences across the country, spend wildly on fine dining, luxury hotels and airfare and then charge the bill to taxpayers.
But a new state law, inspired in part by BGA investigations, aims to rein in lavish travel expenses.
The Local Government Travel Expense Control Act, which was signed into law July 22 by Gov. Bruce Rauner, requires school districts, community colleges and most other local government agencies to regulate all travel-related expenses and reimbursements. The law takes effect January 1, 2017.
That means certain documentation will be required before purchases are approved and maximum reimbursement levels will need to be set for travel expenditures, including meals and lodging.
The act also bans expenses on concerts, sporting events and other forms of entertainment.
State Rep. David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills) introduced the bill earlier this year, noting stories the BGA has done that expose extravagant spending on travel.
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