Applying the brakes to runaway severance agreements

State Representative Margo McDermed (R-Mokena)’s bill to address runaway severance agreements passed the House on Wednesday with a vote of 114-2. HB303 amends the Illinois Freedom of Information Act to ban to ban a government body from concealing the terms of a severance agreement funded by tax-payer dollars.  It provides protection for trade secrets, proprietary information, or other exempt information.

“Taxpayers should be entitled to look at the terms of an agreement that a public body, using taxpayer funds, reaches” Rep McDermed said. “This is a victory for public entity transparency.”

The bill was initiated in response to egregious cases of severance payments in the past few years such as a $763,000 severance agreement provided to the outgoing President of College of DuPage, Robert Breuder, and a $700,000 severance agreement given to former Metra CEO Alex Clifford. The bill is a part of the College of DuPage reform package. Read more.