Appointed by Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady, State Senator Don DeWitte (R-St. Charles) will serve on the Legislative Budget Oversight Commission, which is tasked with providing oversight on the Governorâ€™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 (BIMP), is comprised of 22 legislatorsâ€”14 total Democrats from the House and Senate and 8 total Republicans from the House and Senate.
â€œThroughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Governor has used his gubernatorial emergency powers to unilaterally make decisions regarding the stateâ€™s responseâ€“without any oversight from the legislative branch. 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,â€ said Sen. DeWitte. â€œWhile the make-up 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 Governorâ€™s actions and allow us to keep our constituents informed on how the Governor is spending the stateâ€™s federal relief funds.â€
Beginning August 15, the Governorâ€™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.
â€œI 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,â€ said Sen. DeWitte.