Cook Co. (ECWd) -
Break the law, Change the law.
Back in October of 2017, we wrote this article regarding Maine Township and the legal opinion the Supervisor hired out to support her improper actions as it relates to Township General Assistance funding of the Township Food Pantry.
We clearly pointed out it was not legal for General Assistance funds to be transferred into another Township operated social service program, which was their Food Pantry. Morask ignored all logic and continued the improper practice of diverting Public Aid funds to the Township Food Pantry.
We were right!
Recently passed legislation will soon permit General Assistance funds to be used for Township Food Pantries effective January 1, 2020.
(305 ILCS 5/9-15)
(This Section may contain text from a Public Act with a delayed effective date)
Sec. 9-15. Township food pantries. In a county under township organization, a township may provide, from moneys received and collected for public aid to all persons eligible therefor under Article VI of this Code, funds and administer programs for providing in-kind aid in meeting basic maintenance requirements, including, but not limited to, food, paper goods, toiletries, and clothing, to persons who are poor, indigent, homeless, or in need of immediate assistance, in addition to financial aid provided under this Code. (Source: P.A. 101-309, eff. 1-1-20.)
The previous version of the law never permitted the Supervisor to do what she was doing with General Assistance, regardless of the bogus legal opinion she paid for and this new law proves that point. Had the action being taken by Morask and numerous other Townships been legal, there would have been no need for a law to specifically give the power in question.
This is yet another case of "Break the law- Change the law". When we exposed Morask's actions we had numerous people insist other Townships fund their food pantries with GA, so if there are so many doing it, it must be legal. Wrong! It was not legal but rather than people actually following the law, they had the law changed to make the illegal act legal.
This is not the first time we have seen such legislation created after we exposed wrongdoing. It appears to be the norm in Illinois, sadly.