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Blind Budgeting: A Look into Springfield’s Court-Ordered Public Spending

December 24, 2019
By Edward N. Tiesenga and Carl A. Miller

An Examination of the Extent of Court Ordered Spending in the State of Illinois

Throughout the course of the summer of 2019, the authors pursued a two-pronged strategy to find out about these court orders, in order to measure this underground spending plume. We contacted local legislators on a bipartisan basis and submitted a series of specific, targeted FOIA requests to key state agencies.

Although these FOIA requests and legislative inquiries produced a few substantive responses and afforded clues to some of the court orders, nobody in Springfield seems to know the full extent of the legislative cession of power. Indeed, the legislature’s own research agency, an arm of government known as the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability, has stated that no list of the court orders even exists.