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Proviso Probe

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

GOV, Yarbrough gets reform bill passed

From a Yarbrough press release:
SPRINGFIELD – State Rep. Karen Yarbrough (D-Maywood) passed legislation out of the House reducing potential conflicts of interest for school board members voting on referendum and petition questions by shifting responsibility for hearing challenges on these issues from education officers electoral boards to county electoral boards.

"The public has a right to expect that the process used to decide important educational issues is fair," said Yarbrough. "This legislation reduces the potential for conflicts of interest that could negatively impact votes on questions that determine the future of our schools."

Under current law, education officers electoral boards are formed to hear objections to placing school board candidates or referendum questions on ballots. The boards are made up of the presiding officer of the school board, the secretary of the school board and the school board member with the longest term of continuous service.

Under this system, the same school officers who initially vote on a question also review challenges to the same question. Petitions with an insufficient number of signatures or with invalid signatures may be challenged. Successful challenges prevent candidates and referendums from appearing on ballots.

House Bill 5001 improves the review process by eliminating education officers electoral boards and requiring county officers electoral boards to hear challenges on referendum and petition questions for school districts and community colleges.

Yarbrough cited an incident in Proviso Township as one of many examples demonstrating the need for a less biased review process. After the District 209 Board voted in favor of issuing $40 million in bonds, residents petitioned for a referendum. The educational officers electoral board, comprised of three members who had voted on the bond issue, determined the petitions did not contain the required number of valid signatures for the issue to appear on the ballot.

"Most school officials make fair, informed decisions," said Yarbrough. "However, we need to make the review process more evenhanded and eliminate any appearance of impropriety."

House Bill 5001 now advances to the Senate for further consideration. For more information, please call Rep. Yarbrough at (708) 615-1747.

Comments?

10 Comments:

  • this was all fresh information to me. sounds like a long overdue reform. Thanks, Karen Yarbrough.

    By Blogger PastorNancy, at 12:23 PM, March 02, 2006  

  • Tired of Proviso
    Where in the hell was this law when Welch and his dummies voted to build a $40 million school? Where was the legislation then? Where were the Maywood and local and sate politicans then? Lightford chairs the educational committee...What A JOKE! Yarbrough a little to late for the community!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:16 PM, March 02, 2006  

  • Good job Yarbrough. This is the kind of legislation that needed to be done a long time ago. this will put a end to some of the machine stylye politics that has plagued this township and state for the last 50 years. As long as the good ole Boys can find a way to monopolize these school boards we will never get a fare and honest group of board Members in our towns. Please keep up the good job in springfield and dont worry about March 21st. alittle angel told me that you have already won!!!!!Claim it Karen and it shall be yours!!!!God bless You and your family.

    By Anonymous True Board Member, at 10:28 PM, March 02, 2006  

  • But we need similar legislation to end Mayors and Trustees serving on Electoral Boards for challenges to candidates and/or referendums for villages/cities. It is ludicrous for sitting Mayors and Trustees to actually sit on an electoral board to decide on the validity of challenges to the petitions of a candiate to sit on that same board. More often than not, in our small communities, even if the Mayor or Trustee are not directly effected, they are supporting one side or another in that election. It is also my personal experience that most challenges to petitions to run for office, are a bunch of baloney. I remember when I ran once that former trustee Sheryl Washington even challenged my own wife's signature on a petition for me to run. All challenges for local government elections, not just school boards should be heard by a board of "experts" who have no bias in who runs jor doesn't run. I havew recused myself from serving on these phony boards more than once and Chris Welch should have recused himself and every other sitting 209 Board member when they reviewed our petitions to have a referendum on the "backdoor" bond issue to finance the purchase of the futeure site of the PSMDA complex.

    By Anonymous Gary Woll, at 11:32 PM, March 02, 2006  

  • Yarbrough had to wait to get all of that campaign cash from Bruno before she decided "reform" the system.

    More closing the barn doors after the cows got out government in action.

    She's a Hypocrite.

    By Anonymous Tired, at 11:11 AM, March 03, 2006  

  • I tend to agree with Gary Woll that the legislation was too narrow. It sorta seems opportunistic for Yarbrough to pass such a narrow bill less than a month before her primary with Welch.

    I also share the "closing the barn door after the cows have left" sentiment.

    That said, the choice seems to be between a candidate that closed the barn door late and a candidate that opened the door in the first place.

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 4:13 PM, March 03, 2006  

  • Thanks Carl for keeping it real!!

    By Anonymous March is here & counting, at 12:06 AM, March 04, 2006  

  • Carl and Gary,
    Rep. Robin Kelly introduced HB2416 which would have addressed
    objections to nominations for municipal offices, for township offices, and for community college district offices. This bill also provides that if a municipality, school district, or community college district is located in 2 or more counties, the county officers electoral board of the county in which the principal offices of the municipality, school district, or community college district are located shall hear and pass upon the objections.

    The bill (HB2416) passed out of the house and got stuck in Senate rules committee. This was in April/'05. Since that bill was going nowhere in its current form, I introduced HB5001 in hopes of at least getting some kind of relief. The bill passed out of the house and is being carried by Harmon in the Senate. I am hopeful that we are successful this year with this measure and perhaps next year we will broaden it. It is clear that this conflict of interest is a problem on many levels of government.

    By Anonymous Rep. Karen Yarbrough, at 12:15 AM, March 04, 2006  

  • Rep. Yarbrough,

    Thanks for taking the time to explain.

    By Blogger Carl Nyberg, at 12:36 PM, March 06, 2006  

  • Hey K. Yarbrough

    You are a little too late. You allowed Welch to go forward with the 40 million dollar project without putting up a fight. You turned your back on the people. Now, your ass is getting challenged and now you want to do something. Hey, I am going to vote for you, because Mr. Welch has major issues, but next time - like April 2007 and 2009, you need to stick you ass out there and help folks like Dr. Flower get the Welch gang out of office. Do not get back in office and act like no one help you get back in!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:50 PM, March 06, 2006  

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