Taxpayers Deserve the Truth on NRI

Leader Jim Durkin calls on the Governor to explain spending
The Illinois Senate and House Republican Leaders today – in concert with members of the Legislative Audit Commission – called on Governor Quinn and his Administration to lift the curtain of secrecy and come clean on new spending for a rebranded version of his failed Neighborhood Recovery Initiative.

“We’ve seen a disturbing pattern of a lack of transparency from Governor Quinn and his Administration,” Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno said. “Every week we see new reports about the mismanagement of the NRI program. Every week, Governor Quinn spins that he’s fixed the problems. It’s the same claim he made about the patronage scheme at the Department of Transportation and we all know now that just wasn’t true.

“Now, just months before an election, Governor Quinn has squirreled away $20 million in taxpayer dollars in a way that looks and smells like NRI all over again,” Radogno said. “And just like NRI, they have begun passing it out with record speed. In the first month of this fiscal year, Governor Quinn dished out nearly 60 percent of the special funding earmarked for the Department of Labor. It’s time for some honest answers.”

At issue is a $20 million lump sum Quinn hid in the current state budget, with only a vague description that the money would be used by the agency for purposes almost identical to those that described the original NRI program.  In July – just weeks after the budget was approved -- $5 million was transferred to the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and $6.5 million to the Department of Human Services. Grant recipients have yet to be identified. Read more.