Illinois could save $1.25 billion if lawmakers approved a comprehensive forensic audit, House Minority Leader Tom Cross said Wednesday. He introduced House Resolution 1057 that would give Auditor General William Holland one year to complete the audit.
House Republicans say it's time to dig deeper with a detailed review of all state spending areas in the midst of major budget problems.
But House Democrats who control the chamber don't have much enthusiasm for the GOP's idea.
Illinois could save $1.25 billion if lawmakers approved a comprehensive forensic audit, House Minority Leader Tom Cross said Wednesday. He introduced House Resolution 1057, which would give Auditor General William Holland one year to complete the audit.
Cross said the idea came from former GOP gubernatorial candidate Adam Andrzejewski, who lost in the February primary election.
Cross said the audit would look at all areas of state spending, including hiring, purchasing and contracts. The results could help determine whether some state agencies make cuts or layoffs.
The audit would begin immediately after the legislation is approved. Cross said the results from the audit would be used to prepare next year's budget.
"This is a commonsense approach to dissecting and setting controls and benchmarks for our budget," he said.
Andrzejewski said the audit would include suggestions in terms of controlling future spending. Andrzejewski and Cross want to allow the auditor general to be able to request subpoenas from the House to complete the review. A bipartisan group of lawmakers would be assigned to oversee the effort.
Andrzejewski said he did not know how much the audit would cost the state. But while running for governor in January, Andrzejewski told The State Journal-Register's editorial board it would cost at least $60 million.
That price tag is one reason why House Democrats are dismissing the idea.
"I question what the motivation is and why you'd want to spend tens of millions of dollars when the state is broke," said Steve Brown, spokesman for Democrat House Speaker Michael Madigan. "It's a huge waste of money."
Brown also said the study would essentially "duplicate" the auditor general's responsibilities.
Rich Whitney, the current Green Party candidate for governor, has also voiced support for a forensic audit of the state's spending.
John Guidroz can be reached at 217-782-6882 or John.email@example.com.