Illinois Senators moved nearly 300 bills out of committee during the week, including measures to ban texting while driving, allow for medical marijuana use and create a state “transparency and accountability” Web site.

Senator Tim Bivins said that the Senate also unanimously approved legislation seeking to increase transparency in the gubernatorial appointment process. Senate Bill 189 was introduced in response to former Governor Rod Blagojevich’s abuse of the executive appointment process, which included leveraging appointments to the state’s pension and investment boards, the Teachers Retirement System Board and the Health Facilities Planning Board in return for campaign cash and favors.

The measure requires the Governor’s office to establish and maintain a searchable online database of appointed board and commission members, their powers, qualifications and responsibilities; current board vacancies; information on how to apply for an appointment; and a link to the Secretary of State’s Web site where Statements of Economic Interest can be obtained by the public.

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