Legislation Calls for More Transparency and Accountability During the Illinois Budget Process

From the Institute for Truth in Accounting…

(Chicago, March 18, 2011) — State Representative Mike Tryon (IL-64th District) has introduced the Long-Term Accounting Act into the Illinois legislature. The Act calls for increased timeliness, transparency and accountability during the state budgeting process.

“Not knowing the long term consequences of the Illinois budget has put our state $100 billion in the hole,” said Sheila Weinberg, Founder and CEO of the Institute for Truth in Accounting, which assisted in the drafting of the bill. “We can’t determine the best plan to get us out until we are honest about how big the hole is.”

The Long-Term Accounting Act lays out guidelines to strengthen the state’s special responsibility to disclose its actions and results of those actions in a timely and useful way. The Act would require the Commission on Governmental Forecasting and Accountability, that calculates the state budget, to work with Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka’s office to produce consolidated budget documents, including a balance sheet and income statement. This would facilitate the public’s understanding of Illinois’ financial shortfalls and the financial consequences of budget decisisons. The Act would also require specific disclosure of all state obligations which include debt to fund operations, including deferred compensation such as employees’ and teachers’ retirement benefits costs.

Rep. Tryon reiterated his support for this legislation. “I look forward to once again working with Truth in Accounting this year in an effort pass budget reform legislation, as there seems to be movement in support of this issue,” he stated.

About the Institute for Truth in Accounting

The Institute for Truth in Accounting (IFTA) is dedicated to promoting honest, accurate, and transparent accounting at all levels of government and business. As a non-partisan, non-profit organization, the IFTA works to expose accounting deficiencies while promoting better, more accessible delivery of accurate government financial data–and, in turn, providing a foundation for more informed public policy. The IFTA provides its expertise to develop more effective accounting standards and deliver accurate government financial information to policymakers, opinion leaders, and citizens, so they can all work for a more secure financial future. To learn more, please visit our website at www.TruthInAccounting.org.

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