Verschoore Co-Sponsors Bill that Creates a State Commission to Reduce Spending

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

State Rep. Pat Verschoore (D-Milan) is continuing his efforts to reform the state’s budget by helping pass legislation that will create the Commission on Taxpayer Oversight and Reduction of State Spending.

“The purpose of this commission is to thoroughly review and analyze the Governor’s budget, and determine ways in which we can protect taxpayer dollars,” Verschoore said. “We need to be more responsible stewards of the taxpayers’ money, and this commission will help streamline the budget and find ways to reduce spending on ineffective, inefficient or duplicative services.”

House Bill 1512, co-sponsored by Verschoore, creates the Commission on Taxpayer Oversight and Reduction of State Spending. The commission is charged with identifying areas within the state budget where state spending can be reduced and to make their recommendations to the Governor. The Commission will be made up of 8 voting members and 2 non-voting, advisory members. The caucus leaders of the General Assembly will appoint the 8 voting members, while the Governor will appoint the 2 advisory members. Upon completion of reviewing the Governor’s proposed budget, the Commission is required to: make recommendations for reducing expenditures; determine if agency activities and grant programs are meeting their goals; make recommendations to reduce appropriations of failing agencies; and identify areas of waste and inefficiency created by local governments having to comply with mandated expenditures.

If the Commission members reach concurrence on certain recommendations, the Commission will compile and submit a report with their specific recommendations to the governor’s office and to the General Assembly. The Commission will conduct at least one public hearing so that Illinois residents can add their input on this report.

“One of the big changes we can put in place with this new legislation will be that the Governor must explain why he rejected any budget cut idea offered to him by the Commission,” Verschoore said. “Up until now there was no way to prevent a governor from ignoring reasonable ideas to reduce state spending. The severe financial crisis facing the state has forced us to end business as usual here in Illinois when it comes to the budget process. We have to focus on what to cut and how to prioritize the funding we do have  instead of just looking at where we can spend additional state money.”

For more information on this or any of Rep. Verschoore’s legislation, please contact his constituent service office at (309) 558-3612.