Progressive Caucus Introduces Sweeping Debt Oversight Legislation, With Backing From Emanuel Administration, To Prevent Future Bad Bank Deals

April 13, 2016

Chicago City Council Progressive Reform Caucus

The Chicago City Council Progressive Caucus on Wednesday will introduce a major regulatory Ordinance designed to create oversight and transparency for debt transactions and untested financial arrangements like the so-called “toxic” interest rate swap deals that have plagued the City in recent years.

If enacted, the ordinance, sponsored by Ald. Scott Waguespack (32) and Ald. John Arena (45), will:

  • Ensure that the taxpayers of Chicago receive greater information and access to the financial decisions of the City of Chicago through increased scrutiny of financial transactions by the City Council and through public hearings.

  • Provide a mechanism for heightened scrutiny of all unconventional debt transactions before passage by City Council.

  • Ensure that the City of Chicago executes financial decisions in a manner that is transparent and in the best interests of the taxpayers of Chicago.

  • Hold all parties to the financial transactions of the City of Chicago accountable for the fiscal decisions made on behalf of the taxpayers of Chicago.

“Complex, bad deals with the big banks have sucked millions of tax dollars away from our schools and communities,” said Ald. Waguespack. “This will allow us to thoroughly examine any future debt deals like these, and make sure we stop future bad deals for taxpayers.”

“This ordinance is one mechanism that allows us be better stewards of taxpayer dollars and shines some light on how finance deals are structured, so that can we make better decisions,” said Ald. David Moore (17).

The Emanuel Administration worked closely with the Progressive Caucus in crafting the ordinance, Ald. Arena said.

“We have worked closely with the Emanuel Administration to develop this critical piece of legislation swiftly and comprehensively,” said Ald. Arena. “We are hopeful that our fellow aldermen and the Administration will all work together to pass this ordinance in recognition that we all have a common interest in protecting taxpayers and create financial stability for the City of Chicago.”