State Senator Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet) released the following statement regarding the recently released performance audit of IDES during the pandemic:
“I think during the early days of the pandemic we felt that everyone was doing the best that they could with an extremely difficult and unprecedented situation. However, it quickly became clear to myself and countless others on both sides of the aisle in the General Assembly that the taxpayers were being robbed blind by what was happening at IDES. The Governor ignored these warnings and told us the situation was under control. I filed the resolution that led to this audit so that we could all finally get some answers and find out how bad it really was.
“This audit has made it crystal clear that the administration’s management of the unemployment system during COVID was an unmitigated disaster of historic proportions. More than $5 billion was paid out improperly, and only about a tenth of that was recovered. $6 million in payments went to people who were deceased and a whopping $40 million was paid to people who were behind bars at the time. While we are still reviewing all the details of the scathing audit, it’s clear that the agency failed to follow its own safety protocols, and, according to the audit, is apparently still refusing to follow common-sense guidance from the feds. All the while, the agency completely dropped the ball on the one thing it said it was focused on, which was getting unemployment benefits in a timely matter to the people who desperately needed them.
“The people of Illinois should be disgusted at how badly their money was handled and how little was done to account for the outright theft and gross incompetence. The people who were supposed to serve as stewards of their resources completely failed them, and their ineptitude served to embolden and help criminals to abuse the system and steal benefits. I have constituents who were lawfully entitled to benefits that they never received, and then now they have to read about billions that are missing.”