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Andrzejewski Pushes for Open Government, Decatur Herald-Review

DECATUR – Since his unsuccessful campaign for governor in 2010, the candidate who passed out a pronunciation key for his last name has been hard at work at a different project.

Adam Andrzejewski of Hinsdale, founder of For The Good of Illinois, announced the creation of the group’s website, www.openthebooks.com, which has compiled pension information on nearly every government employee in Illinois from the state level on down.

For the Good of Illinois’s political action committee supported a number of Republican candidates in the 2010 election, including state Sens. Kyle McCarter, R-Lebanon, and Sam McCann, R-Carlinville.

Andrzejewski said the monumental task required about 10,000 requests through the Freedom of Information Act. It reveals a system he said rewards double- and even triple-dipping employees who are hired on for their second or third jobs with the state, paying in little but drawing out much.

“I don’t think the scope of the problem has been revealed to the people of the state of Illinois,” Andrzejewski said during a talk with the Herald & Review’s editorial board Tuesday.

Andrzejewski said the database is the only comprehensive look at a state’s pension data available. Though he said the vast majority of government units provided the data in an accommodating manner, the daunting amount of work and outright resistance Andrzejewski said the organization faced from other units proved one thing.

“Every single public record should be online,” Andrzejewski said. “What openthebooks.com has proved is that the records should be online, and that should be the standard.”

Andrzejewski said there are several examples of large hikes in pension payouts for employees who were rehired for short periods of time and other such abuses that further tax a system so deep in the red that its unfunded liability accounts for nearly a third of the state’s gross domestic product.

He said legislation put forth by state Sen. Matt Murphy, R-Palatine, aims at closing those loopholes.

“My fear is the political will in Springfield doesn’t exist to get this done,” Andrzejewski said.

The legislation is Senate Bill 2499.

klowe@herald-review.com|217-421-7985

Read more: Andrzejewski pushes for openness in government http://herald-review.com/news/local/article_b8acbe84-ff84-11e0-900e-001cc4c002e0.html#ixzz1byqmvp2u
From the Decatur Herald & Review


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