Rep. Spain appointed to COVID-19 budget oversight commission

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WMBD) — Rep. Ryan Spain (R-Peoria) is one of four House Republican Caucus members that was appointed Friday to a commission designed to monitor Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s COVID-19 spending.

Spain was appointed to the commission with fellow state representatives Tom Demmer (R-Dixon), Norine Hammond (R-Macomb), and Tom Morrison (R-Palatine).

The Republican Spokesperson for the Commission Rep. Tom Demmer said that the unprecedented times caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic call for extra oversight.

“These unprecedented times and challenges will call for extra scrutiny on the spending of taxpayer dollars, both to meet this emergency and to fund the state’s essential services. The legislature needs to be involved throughout this process,” Demmer said.

The Commission will have legislative oversight to review all relief funds that are distributed to help the state recover from the pandemic.

Rep. Norine Hammond said she is eager for the increased oversight on the Governors COVID-19 response.

“Throughout this pandemic, my fellow legislators and I have called for more involvement and oversight from the General Assembly regarding COVID-19 relief efforts,” Hammond said. “As a co-equal branch of government, the General Assembly plays a critical role in the functions of state government and the budgetary process. I appreciate Leader Durkin appointing me to this Commission and I look forward to carefully monitoring the actions being taken by the Governor’s Office regarding budget management and pandemic relief efforts.”

Rep. Ryan Spain said it is important to have oversight over the increased spending authority the Governor was given over the Fiscal Year 2021 Budget.

“With the Governor’s additional spending authority for dealing with the COVID-19 crisis and resulting economic shutdown, it is more important than ever that legislators exercise oversight authority over state spending within the State Budget,” Spain said. “I will continue working for due diligence to ensure transparency and accountability in the spending of taxpayer dollars.”

Rep. Tom Morrison said as a member of the commission he hopes to fight for greater responsibility in the states spending of federal spending.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a tough financial reality for the state and Illinois residents,” Morrison said. “Now is the time to bring greater responsibility and transparency to our budgeting process, starting with the distribution and expenditure of any federal financial relief funds. While I didn’t vote for the Fiscal Year 2021 budget due to its reliance on federal borrowing, I do believe this commission is necessary to provide oversight on how the Governor spends these unprecedented levels of federal financial support.”

The Commission will receive monthly reports from the Governors office about any budget management actions taken starting August 15.

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