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May 23, 2024

Kankakee States Attorney Jim Rowe issued legal opinion on use of public funds-

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On September 10, 2018

Kankakee Co. (ECWd) –

Over the last several years we have exposed numerous public bodies in this state that believe they can spend taxpayer money on things that have no public purpose.  From birthday gifts to Christmas parties, and just about anything else you can imagine, we have uncovered it.

When we write about those matters it doesn’t take long before people start commenting and providing emotional justification for the spending.

After review of a laundry list of case law on the matter, it is clear such spending is in violation of our laws.  We have stood firm on our position that public funds are to only be used for a public purpose, as is outlined in our State Consitution and only as provided by statute.

After writing about the Kankakee County Board policy to spend money on flowers for funerals, we received the same hate mail as in other cases, but now there is a new twist.

State’s Attorney Jim Rowe has applied the letter of the law to the question on such spending.  The answer is simple, you can’t do it! We thank Mr. Rowe for leading the charge in statutory construction and ensuring such spending is halted in his County.

Maybe a few other State’s Attorneys can learn a lesson from Rowe’s letter, so they can put a stop to all the illegal spending going on in units of local government in their county.

flower policy opinion 7.27.18

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  • Mike
    Posted at 16:10h, 12 September

    What’s your opinion if there is a legitimate public purpose with some school districts replacing end of career salary increases for teachers and administrators with post retirement bonuses?

    The reason stated by the districts is that post retirement bonuses are not pensionable income, and thus don’t hike the pension.

    I would imagine most if not all the employees would retire whether or not they received the post retirement bonus…it’s just gravy.

    • jmkraft
      Posted at 17:10h, 12 September

      I am guessing that as long as it is in the contract, it is permissible.