How to track contributions to state and local candidates

The Illinois State Board of Elections web site is packed with data on contributions to state and local candidates and on how those candidates spend their money. So we thought that CU-CitizenAccess.org would offer a quick tutorial in how to find that information yourself. First, go to the State Board’s Web site at http://www.elections.il.gov/ as shown in Figure-1. Figure 1Move your cursor towards the top middle and click on “Candidates” to get going. When you click on that, you will get this screen as show in Figure-2.Figure 2Move your cursor towards the middle of the page and click on “Campaign Disclosure”, located within the “Welcome Candidates” list.

From 1990 to 2010: Twenty years of extreme poverty in Champaign-Urbana

Extreme poverty is defined as those incomes that are less than half of the defined poverty income. The maps below look at extreme poverty in 1990, 2000 and 2010 in the Champaign-Urbana area using census data. In 1990, the census measured a poverty income for a family of four at $13,254. In 2000, the census measured a poverty income for a family of four at $17,463. In 2010, the census measured a poverty income for a family of four at $22,113.

Photo of Champaign County Clerk's Office

Efforts at transparency in government lost in translation

Illinois state law requires government officials in Champaign County to file forms disclosing financial dealings that might lead to conflicts of interest in their official duties.

But a review by CU-CitizenAccess.org of over 9,000 forms filed by officials over the past five years found that an average 16 percent of officials reveal any specific information.

Photo of school bus on bridge

Long delays for funding plague bridge repairs

Illinois state inspectors say the bridge carrying traffic on County Highway 50 over Interstate 74 in Mahomet is in “critical condition” and “structurally deficient.”

But an average of 2,550 vehicles — including school buses — still use the bridge each day, although the bridge has been reduced to a single traffic lane since August 2011.