When the Securities and Exchange Commission recently accused the State of Illinois of misleading investors about the condition of its public pension program, it was only the second time in history that the federal agency has taken action against a state for securities fraud. That could soon change. The SEC's head of municipal securities recently commented that he'd like to see the agency step up its enforcement measures, as he seeks to define his office's role. "Expect in the future that the SEC may have a bigger footprint in enforcement of municipal securities," Director of Municipal Securities John Cross told an audience of state treasurers in Washington, D.C. Cross, who was a speaker at the annual legislative conference for the National Association of State Treasurers, noted that the SEC's newly nominated director, Mary Jo White, is also known for being no-nonsense. "She has a strong reputation as a tough prosecutor" he said. Cross' office was established last year as part of the recommendations made by a 165-page report on the municipal securities market released in July 2012. The report called for broad reforms to the municipal market in the area of disclosure, including requiring issuers to supply bond investors with audited financial statements. The report also highlighted the lack of information about municipal bonds available to investors, making it harder for buyers and inexperienced issuers to determine a fair price for the bonds. SEC watchdogs have been critical of the agency's oversight of public finance, saying it hasn't done enough to protect taxpayers from bad government deals.