Following the release of a blistering report detailing the Pritzker administration’s failure to properly safeguard the unemployment system during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, State Sen. Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet) filed a resolution calling for a full and complete audit of the state’s fraud-plagued unemployment system.
“For a year and half, Republicans, Democrats, and the people of Illinois tried in vain to help the Pritzker administration understand what a disaster the unemployment system had become. The Governor rebuffed all efforts to tell him that the system wasn’t working,” said Rose. ”When struggling families needed the state of Illinois the most, his administration didn’t care. While people across the state were fighting to get the unemployment benefits they were entitled to, his administration was sending an unheard amount of money, instead, to people who never even applied for the benefits. Instead of listening to the representatives of the people in the General Assembly who were trying to help solve this problem on behalf of their constituents, we ended up with a textbook example of complete bureaucratic incompetence by the Pritzker administration”
Earlier this week, the Illinois Auditor General released a financial audit of the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES), the agency which oversees the unemployment system. The reported noted numerous failures from the Pritzker administration’s IDES, including the refusal to implement even basic safeguards to protect the integrity of the system, especially the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. At one point in the report, auditors noted that eligibility for the PUA program couldn’t be audited because of the failure of the administration to accurately document eligibility.
Rose, as a member of the Legislative Audit Commission, which orders and accepts the audits from the Auditor General’s Office, is filing a resolution ordering a full audit of the state’s unemployment system during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Now that we’ve read the Auditor General’s initial report, it’s clear who was telling the truth, and that no one can possibly believe what the Pritzker administration says about the unemployment system,” concluded Rose. “This audit will allow the public to find out exactly what went wrong, and what steps need to be taken to ensure a disaster like this is avoided in the future.”