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LaHood Opinion: Audit Commission questions legitimacy of NRI, while Gov. Quinn continues to fund ‘NRI-like’ programs

PRINGFIELD – As children head back to school, the summer fair season is wrapping up, but is always ends with our state’s two largest celebrations of agriculture -- the Illinois State Fair in Springfield and its southern Illinois cousin – the DuQuoin State Fair. Agriculture is the basis of the Illinois economy and it looks like Illinois farmers have the potential to have another good year. Our Illinois agricultural industry is on track for back-to-back quality years after dealing with historic drought in 2012. The easiest way to tell whether or not producers have had a good year, is if tax revenues are up. One-quarter of Illinois’ economy is based in the agriculture sector and it should be a top priority of the legislature to enact policies that allow the sector to grow. Illinois is the third largest producers of commodities in the United States and we continue to expand our agricultural reach throughout the world. - See more at: http://www.senatorlahood.com/Media/News/NewsDetails/TabId/795/p/16719/v/2000/-LaHood-Opinion-New-911-Dialing-Law-Further-Protects-Safety-of-Illinoisans.aspx
SPRINGFIELD – As children head back to school, the summer fair season is wrapping up, but is always ends with our state’s two largest celebrations of agriculture -- the Illinois State Fair in Springfield and its southern Illinois cousin – the DuQuoin State Fair. Agriculture is the basis of the Illinois economy and it looks like Illinois farmers have the potential to have another good year. Our Illinois agricultural industry is on track for back-to-back quality years after dealing with historic drought in 2012. The easiest way to tell whether or not producers have had a good year, is if tax revenues are up. One-quarter of Illinois’ economy is based in the agriculture sector and it should be a top priority of the legislature to enact policies that allow the sector to grow. Illinois is the third largest producers of commodities in the United States and we continue to expand our agricultural reach throughout the world. - See more at: http://www.senatorlahood.com/Media/News/NewsDetails/TabId/795/p/16719/v/2000/-LaHood-Opinion-New-911-Dialing-Law-Further-Protects-Safety-of-Illinoisans.aspxA seemingly insolvable $100 billion pension deficit has thousands of Illinoisans running for the hills and credit rating agencies issuing more negative reports.

Nearly $55 million appropriated to Chicago agencies to alleviate violence in the City’s “most dangerous” neighborhoods was questioned at length by state legislators over two days, Oct. 8-9. The Legislative Audit Commission (LAC) interrogated several witnesses involved in administering Governor Quinn’s failed Neighborhood Recovery Initiative (NRI)—questioning the legitimacy of the Governor’s move to shift millions of taxpayer dollars to Chicago agencies just weeks before the 2010 election.

While Quinn’s NRI program is under federal investigation and Audit Commission scrutiny for its lack of transparency and questionable activities, the Governor continues to funnel more dollars into programs that eerily resemble the NRI just weeks before his upcoming 2014 election. This story sounds all too familiar as Quinn shuffles millions from statewide community programs for at-risk youth into select Chicago programs, some of which have already proven to misuse funds.

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