A panel of Illinois state lawmakers spent three hours today trying to find out how politics played a role in a disgraced anti-violence program. From Springfield, IPR's Tony Arnold explains.
Lawmakers are in the middle of fast-paced budget negotiations during the final days of their session, but that didn't stop a joint committee from peppering the head of the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority about a $50 million anti-violence program from 2010. The program's been disbanded. But Republicans have equated it to a slush fund that Governor Pat Quinn used to get out the vote during his campaign four years ago.
Despite their questions, the head of the agency did not give much insight into what role, if any, politics played. Republican State Senator Jason Barickman was unsatisfied with the answers.
"What's clear to me today, we have only scratched the surface about how this total waste of taxpayer dollars happened," Barickman said.
Barickman says he wants more hearings with other staff members who created or managed the program.
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