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Local

Demmer pushes bill to fight corruption

Legislation advances to the full House

SPRINGFIELD – An Illinois House committee has signed off on legislation sponsored by state Rep. Tom Demmer, R-Dixon, designed to prevent local government thefts such as the nearly $54 million that former comptroller Rita Crundwell took from the city of Dixon.

House Bill 5503 proposes that, within 30 days from the close of an audit of a city or county’s funds, the auditor would provide a copy of any financial statements to each member of the governing body and present that information at a public meeting.

Audited cities and counties that maintain websites would be required to post the information from the financial statements of the audit.

“The intent of the bill is to improve oversight and review of the financial activities, auditing practices, and financial status of municipalities and counties to help prevent such a theft of public funds in the future,” Demmer said in a news release.

“I can personally attest to the distrust and anger the embezzlement of taxpayers’ dollars has caused.

“[Crundwell’s case] is a perfect example of why we must learn from the past and continue to take steps to ensure this criminal activity is prevented in the future.”

The bill now moves to the full House for consideration.

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