Open Government Agenda

Illinois PIRG is working with other good government groups to support a legislative agenda that promotes government transparency and citizen participation.

Government transparency checks corruption, promotes fiscal responsibility and allows for greater, more meaningful participation in our democratic system.

Illinois has a well earned reputation for political corruption. In fact, former independent Chicago Alderman and University of Illinois Chicago Professor Dick Simpson recently published a book, Corrupt Illinois, documenting the history of public “corruption, cronyism, and criminality” in Illinois.

But our past does not have to define our future. Illinois has made a number of reforms to increase government transparency and accountability and can still, of course, do more. In the last legislative session, Illinois PIRG worked with good government partners and Attorney General Lisa Madigan to beat back one attempt to weaken the state’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) – but unfortunately, a seperate bill weekening FOIA passed over Governor Quinn’s veto.

This legislative session, we are working with an even broader coalition to pass legislation increasing government transparency and accountability, and to stop bills that would move Illinois in the wrong direction. We’ve put together an agenda, which includes bills relating to civic education, FOIA, the Open Meetings Act, and citizen privacy.

You can read it here


Abe Scarr

State Director, Illinois PIRG; Energy and Utilities Program Director, PIRG

Abe Scarr is the director of Illinois PIRG and is the PIRG Energy and Utilities Program Director. He is a lead advocate in the Illinois Capitol and in the media for stronger consumer protections, utility accountability, and good government. In 2017, Abe led a coalition to pass legislation to implement automatic voter registration in Illinois, winning unanimous support in the Illinois General Assembly for the bill. He has co-authored multiple in-depth reports on Illinois utility policy and leads coalition campaigns to reform the Peoples Gas pipe replacement program. As PIRG's Energy and Utilities Program Director, Abe supports PIRG energy and utility campaigns across the country and leads the national Gas Stoves coalition. He also serves as a board member for the Consumer Federation of America. Abe lives in Chicago, where he enjoys biking, cooking and tending his garden.

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