State Senator Dan Duffy (R-Lake Barrington) is continuing his battle against unnecessary state boards and commissions by taking a closer look at exactly how these boards are spending taxpayer money.
“There are far too many boards and commissions in this state doing far too little work to justify their enormous cost to taxpayers,” says Duffy. “It’s high time we take a good hard look at what all these boards are actually doing and start eliminating some of these expenses.”
According to Duffy, the Illinois Torture and Inquiry Relief Commission, a division of the Human Rights Commission, is just one of many commissions in the state that are being allocated a great deal of money, but producing no tangible results.
While the Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission was established to investigate and provide services on cases of torture in Illinois, they can provide no program goals, plans, or any results that the Commission has produced.
In the 2012 Fiscal Year the Commission was appropriated $150,000, nearly all of which was spent on salary for two employees. The executive director has been paid $80,000 in the last year and, according to time sheets, spent only 7 hours performing duties related to the commission.
“Since February 28 of 2011, the Illinois Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission have only met a total of 4 times. Their longest meeting lasted a whopping total of 2 hours,” says Duffy. “The commission’s executive director has been paid $80,000 for less than a day’s work. This is just another example of how the state is wasting taxpayer money. Not only are we paying these people for accomplishing little-to-nothing, but more importantly we’re giving them healthcare benefits, as well as pensions.”
Duffy also points out that many of the members of these commissions are politically connected. ”The Human Rights Commission is the poster child for politically connected boards. Nearly half of the members of this board have close ties to political figures.”
“It is irresponsible to let the culture of corruption in Illinois dictate state spending. This commission is just the tip of the iceberg,” contends Duffy. “There are literally hundreds of useless boards that are diverting state funds that could be used for more important things like paying down our debt and addressing our ever-growing backlog of bills.”