Illinois lawmaker calls for more transparency on how taxpayers dollars are spent



(The Center Square) – An Illinois legislator says the way the state conducts business is unethical and equivalent to fiscal malpractice.

State Rep. Martin McLaughlin, R-Barrington Hills, is calling for more transparency of the state’s spending. During a Wednesday news conference he highlighted the executive assistant at the Illinois Emergency Management Agency billing the state nearly $50,000 a month for her salary.

“The people in charge of this great state have no understanding of what it means to respect taxpayers’ money when they allow this to happen, and what do we expect from a governor who’s spending his time jetting off to Miami running for the White House,” McLaughlin said.

Illinois has been criticized by several nonpartisan organizations on its budgeting, including Truth in Accounting. The think tank that promotes fiscal transparency gave Illinois a failing grade of “F” for its financial situation.

Fitch Ratings recently elevated Illinois’ rating for general obligation bonds. The rating of a state’s bonds is a measure of their credit quality. A higher bond rating generally means the state can borrow at a lower interest rate.

“We are continuing to right the past fiscal wrongs in our state with disciplined fiscal leadership, and credit rating agencies and businesses alike are taking notice of Illinois’ remarkable progress,” said Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

McLaughlin said Illinois taxpayers are on the hook for some enormous salaries of workers taking care of migrants.

“Two hundred, eleven thousand dollars per year for housekeeping per worker, security $312,000 per year per worker, and an astonishing $865,000 per year per nurse,” McLaughlin said.

McLaughlin said he is asking for a zero sum budgeting solution and supports creating the Illinois Commission for Fiscal Responsibility and Reform.

“As a former mayor, I can’t fathom how we chose to allow this practice to continue here in Springfield without any legislative oversight, review or monitoring,” he said. “If this practice was conducted in the private sector, of which I own and operate a company, or the nonprofit sector, the fiscal officer would be terminated or sanctioned.”



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