Good Jobs First Lauds Illinois for Responding to Recovery Act Website Criticism, Improving Disclosure

Aug 25, 2009, 11:01 ET from Good Jobs First

WASHINGTON, Aug. 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Good Jobs First today applauded Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn for responding to its study criticizing the quality of the state's Recovery Act websites.

The 50-states-plus-DC study, issued July 29, rated Illinois websites with two scores of zero (on a scale to 100) for both general Recovery Act transparency and specifically for transportation spending. Illinois was the only state to receive two scores of zero.

"Illinois has substantially improved both of its Recovery Act websites, and that is commendable," said Greg LeRoy, executive director of Good Jobs First. "However, the state still has lots of room for improvement. For example, Illinois is still not offering maps on its main Recovery Act website to show where in the state the money is flowing. Nor does it compare Recovery Act spending to where it is needed most as measured by unemployment, poverty, or foreclosures. Its transportation website has maps with links to project details but fails to provide county-by-county comparison."

Cautioning observers that the general website is a moving target - it has exhibited changes as recently as yesterday afternoon - Good Jobs First gave the websites tentative new scores of 30 for the general website and 65 for the transportation website. While those are better scores than some states received as of July 29, Good Jobs First hastens to add that other states have also moved to upgrade their websites since the study was issued, so a current comparative ranking is not available.

Good Jobs First may again rate the quality of state Recovery Act websites in late 2009 after the first quarterly round of federal Recovery Act performance data is released; much of that data will involve investments made through state agencies.

Good Jobs First is a non-profit, non-partisan research group based in Washington, DC with a project office in New York; it promotes accountability in economic development and smart growth for working families. Directed by former Chicagoan Greg LeRoy, it coordinates States for a Transparent and Accountable Recovery and co-chairs the Coalition for an Accountable Recovery.

Contact Michelle Lee 202-232-1616 x 210 or Thomas Cafcas x 219

SOURCE Good Jobs First