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New Economic Interest Form Raises Questions 

  • Date Posted
    April 8, 2022
  • Category
    News
The Illinois Governmental Ethics Act requires school board members and key district staff to file a Statement of Economic Interest each year with the Illinois Secretary of State.ÔÇ» 
 
The Illinois Governmental Ethics Act was updated via legislation effective January 1, 2022, and the Statement of Economic Interest form and instructions have changed  
 
IASB is fielding questions and comments from members about the changes. The new form requires more detail, including personal financial information, and it lacks clarity on definitions and requirements.  
 
“Members are frustrated because it's intrusive and also confusing to fill out,” says IASB General Counsel Kimberly Small. “The new requirements are more akin to statewide office vs. local offices.” 
 
In the short term, school board members are required to comply with the current Statement of Economic Interest form. It is critical for filers to obtain the definitions that describe the information that is and is not required on the form. IASB suggests board members consult with the local county clerk for information and then if necessary, consult the board attorney.  
 
For the long term, IASB is working with legislators and the Secretary of State's office to address issues that have been raised regarding the information that must be provided on this new form, as are other statewide entities such as the Township Officials of Illinois and Illinois Municipal League. Associate Executive Director for Governmental Relations Shelly Bateman cautions that there is not time for the legislature to address this issue with a change in law before the deadline. IASB will update members on progress made with the Secretary of State’s updated guidance. 
 
Member questions about changes to the Statement of Economic Interest form can be directed to sbateman@iasb.com.  
 
School board members and district staff who are required to file should have received individual filing information in their postal mail. Board members can visit the Illinois Secretary of State Statement of Economic Interest page for guidance and to file. The annual deadline per law is on or before May 1. Because that falls on a Sunday this year, the 2022 filing deadline is Monday, May 2.