Topinka unveils new state transparency website
SPRINGFIELD -- Finding out how much state workers make and what the state spends could become a little easier with the launch of a new website from Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka called The Ledger.
At Ledger.IllinoisComptroller.com, visitors can search for employee salaries by last name, as well as track the daily count of the state's backlog of unpaid bills.
Not counting billions in Medicaid bills and other expenses, that number was at about $5.6 billion Monday.
Other websites exist throughout state government with similar information, but Topinka says The Ledger has information that is more comprehensive and more up-to-date.
"You had to go here and there to get it," Topinka said.
The website includes a feature that allows users to compare who holds state contracts to who has given campaign contributions to politicians, a perceived quid-pro-quo that dogged former Gov. Rod Blagojevich throughout his tenure in office.
"You can follow the money right here," Topinka said.
Topinka met with the Daily Herald Editorial Board Monday to promote the new effort. The site will be updated at least daily.
It doesn't yet include information about retirees' pensions, one of the most controversial issues being discussed in Springfield this year. But Topinka suggested more information could be added to the website in the future.