Appointed by Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady, State Sen. Don DeWitte, R-St. Charles, will serve on the legislative budget oversight commission.
The commission is tasked with providing oversight on Gov. JB Pritzker's discretionary spending allowed in the FY21 budget, including the federal CARES Act funding the state received to help respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The newly formed commission, which was established under the budget implementation bill, is comprised of 22 legislators – 14 total Democrats from the House and Senate and 8 total Republicans from the House and Senate.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the governor has used his gubernatorial emergency powers to unilaterally make decisions regarding the state’s response – without any oversight from the legislative branch," DeWitte said in a news release from his office. "It is my hope that this commission will finally provide the proper checks and balances that have been so desperately called for by my colleagues and me. While the makeup of this commission is unbalanced with 14 Democrats and 8 Republicans, it will at least provide Republicans seats at the table, giving us the ability to oversee the governor’s actions and allow us to keep our constituents informed on how the governor is spending the state’s federal relief funds.”
Beginning August 15, the governor’s office will be required to provide the commission with a monthly report of any discretionary spending or action that is inconsistent with the FY21 budget, specifically including any transfer between appropriation lines that exceeds 2 percent, according to the release.
“I look forward to serving on this commission to ensure that taxpayers dollars and federal COVID relief funds are being spent appropriately and in the best interest of our communities," DeWitte said.