Establishment of the Northeastern Illinois Public Transit Task Force
WHEREAS, riders of mass transit in Northeastern Illinois expect fairness, transparency and efficiency in the operation and administration of the transit agencies, including, without limitation, the Regional Transportation Authority (“RTA”), Chicago Transit Authority (“CTA”), Metra, and Pace (the “Northeastern Illinois Transit Agencies” or the “Transit Agencies”); and
WHEREAS, under Article V, Section 11 of the Illinois Constitution, such an Executive Order may become effective immediately, either in part or in whole, to the extent it does not contravene a statute; and
WHEREAS, the Northeastern Illinois Transit Agencies represent the third largest transit system in the United States, with over two million daily riders; and
WHEREAS, in the wake of another scandal, the State of Illinois must step in and fix the failure of the Northeastern Illinois Transit Agencies to work collaboratively and efficiently; and
WHEREAS, as Governor of the State of Illinois, I am committed to ensuring the fair, equitable, efficient, transparent and well-coordinated operation of the Northeastern Illinois Transit Agencies and to eliminating waste, fraud and abuse wherever it occurs; and
WHEREAS, coordination, transparency, efficiency and fairness in the operation of the Northeastern Illinois Transit Agencies must be improved, including the elimination of duplicative efforts and excess board membership; and
WHEREAS, allegations of improper political influence and other recent events at Metra have highlighted the failed leadership of the existing Board of Directors, an absence of adequate oversight and coordination from the RTA, and an overall lack of coordination and cohesion amongst the Transit Agencies that must provide customers with access to transportation throughout the Chicagoland region; and
WHEREAS, current law does not permit the Governor or any agency of the State of Illinois to timely remove Board Members or employees of the Transit Agencies for incompetence or negligence, temporarily replace Board Members to ensure continued operation of existing Transit Agencies, prohibit golden parachutes from being awarded, or eliminate duplicative efforts and costs amongst the existing Transit Agencies; and
WHEREAS, an independent task force is necessary to study, examine and make recommendations to the Governor and the Illinois General Assembly for both the veto and spring sessions as to how the Northeastern Illinois Transit Agencies can improve their operations, repair the damage done to the public trust, and modernize the transit system for the people who depend upon these systems to get them to work, school, home and other destinations;
THEREFORE, I, Pat Quinn, Governor of Illinois, pursuant to the authority vested in me by Article V of the Illinois State Constitution of 1970, hereby order as follows:
There is hereby created the Northeastern Illinois Public Transit Task Force (the “Task Force”) as an independent advisory body having the duties set forth in this document.
The purpose of the Task Force is to study, examine and evaluate the Northeastern Illinois Transit Agencies to determine how the operations of these agencies can be reorganized, streamlined or restructured to, among other things, ensure greater efficiency, accountability, coordination and transparency. The Task Force shall:
- Examine and evaluate the structures, practices and policies of each of the Transit Agencies to determine their impact and effect on the working relationships of the Transit Agencies and to achieve improved inter-agency coordination, transparency, accountability, and overall operating efficiency;
- Examine and evaluate the appropriate oversight and authority that the Illinois Department of Transportation shall have over the Transit Agencies to ensure taxpayers are getting the best return on their investments of limited tax resources;
- Submit, no later than October 18, 2013, a written interim report, detailing immediate measures necessary to address short-term and long-term solutions to ongoing problems at the Transit Agencies; and
- Submit a final report no later than January 31, 2014, to the Governor and General Assembly, providing specific recommendations to improve the efficiency, accountability, coordination and transparency of the Transit Agencies.
- The Task Force shall be composed of two (2) Co-Chairpersons and at least thirteen (13) additional members, for a total membership of at least fifteen (15) Task Force members. The Co-Chairpersons and Task Force members shall be appointed by the Governor. The Co-Chairpersons and Task Force members shall serve without compensation. The Governor may appoint additional Task Force members as desired.
- The Task Force shall terminate on January 31, 2014, upon completion of a final report providing comprehensive recommendations to the Governor and the General Assembly.
- The Task Force shall function as an independent advisory body, with the discretion to arrange its affairs and proceedings in the manner it deems appropriate.
- b. The Illinois Department of Transportation shall provide administrative support o the Task Force, including, but not limited to, providing an Ethics Officer for the Task Force, responding to FOIA requests on behalf of the Task Force, and assisting the Task Force in complying with the Open Meetings Act. At the direction of the Governor, any executive agency shall provide assistance to the Task Force to accomplish their goal of making recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly.
In addition to whatever policies or procedures it may adopt, all operations of the Task Force will be subject to the provisions of the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (5 ILCS 140/1 et seq.) and the Illinois Open Meetings Act (5 ILCS 120/1 et seq.). This section shall not be construed so as to preclude other statutes from applying to the Task Force and its activities.
- EFFECTIVE DATE
This Order shall take effect immediately upon its execution.
Governor of Illinois
Issued by the Governor:
Filed with the Secretary of State: