Sweeping Reforms Introduced at Wednesday’s City Council Meeting
This week was busy at City Hall. At Wednesday’s City Council meeting, my colleagues and I in Chicago’s Progressive Reform Caucus introduced a number of reforms to bring more transparency and oversight to the dealings at City Hall.
On Wednesday, City Council voted to permanently move the $100 million workers compensation program out of the Finance Committee. In December, I introduced an ordinance that would strip the Finance Committee of the worker’s compensation program and move it to the Law Department. It’s a change I have been advocating for since 2017. While I am pleased that this program has been moved out of the Finance Committee, I am disappointed that it took a federal investigation of Alderman Burke to do right by our residents.
Additionally, we introduced an ordinance that would expand the investigatory authority for the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) and provide that office with subpoena power. My colleagues in the Progressive Caucus and I introduced a similar ordinance in 2016 that would have given the IG jurisdiction over committees, including the Finance Committee and the workers’ compensation program.
We also introduced changes to Rule 14 of the City Council Rules of Order. The proposed changes would require more information on recusals and prohibit committee chairs from presiding over matters where they need to be recused from voting.
Finally, we called for the installation of Alderman Scott Waguespack as Finance Chair. Alderman Waguespack has a proven track record of expertise and integrity on financial issues. He also has been a trailblazer on ushering in more oversight and transparency to the City of Chicago.
While the proposed changes would bring significant changes to City Hall, work remains to be done. I am committed to continuing the fight to provide city residents the government they deserve.