* From the Illinois Policy Institute’s news service…
A compromise budget plan introduced by Illinois Republicans earlier last week includes a spending bill that funds more than $169 million in capital projects in lawmakers’ home districts across the state, an Illinois News Network review revealed.
State Rep. David McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills, called the appropriations “earmarks” and “wasteful.”
“I was shocked to see Senator Bill Brady’s recently filed SB 2216, which is described as ‘FY 18 Member Initiatives’,” McSweeney said. “Special earmarks lead to wasteful spending and potentially corruption. I strongly oppose special insider earmarks.” […]
McSweeney said Brady’s capital spending bill “appears to be a part of a strategy to pass a massive tax increase.” He called on the Legislative Audit Commission to “do a full review and investigation of every earmark in the bill. Every member who has requested an earmark in the bill should be identified and required to testify at a public hearing.”
The lawmaker questioned several specific items in the bill, saying, “I can’t wait to hear the explanation” for the following:
$19,700 to the City of Morrison for renovations to the Farmers’ Market Facility;
$25,000 to Elk Grove Township for street sign improvements;
$31,923 to the Preservation and Conservation Association of Champaign for renovations to the Harwood Solon House;
$65,000 to the Institute for Puerto Rican Arts & Culture for construction of a “world class museum and Fine Arts Center;”
$18,750 to the Village of Royal Lakes for “costs associated with capital improvements to Royal Lakes Community Center and gym.”
$245,000 to St. Charles for new construction or infrastructure improvements.