(The Center Square) – The Illinois Auditor General has been tasked by the Illinois House to review what went wrong at the LaSalle Veterans’ Home where 36 residents died from COVID-19. There are other audits the House is poised to order.

State Rep. David Welter, R-Morris, said his House Resolution 62 tasks the Illinois Auditor General to review the state’s failings in how it handled the LaSalle Veterans’ Home COVID-19 outbreak last fall.

“The processes that were broken down, the failures of the state and really what we can build on so that we never put our veterans in this situation again when simple protocols could have been put in place to mitigate the loss that has occurred at the LaSalle Veterans’ Home,” Welter said.

Welter’s measure got near-unanimous approval in the House, triggering the audit.

Several other oversight audits could find similar support after passing committee, like state Rep. Chris Miller’s House Joint Resolution 17 to audit the Illinois Department of Employment Security. He said there are hundreds of thousands of unemployed.

“And unfortunately they’re not getting anything close to the service that they deserve,” said Miller, R-Oakland. “We need to understand what’s going on and get to the root of the problem so that this can be solved.”

Another measure that passed committee, House Resolution 110, state Rep. Adam Niemerg said in an effort to end the culture of corruption he wants to give the auditor another task.

“Conduct a forensic audit of all state spending, hiring, procurement and contracts awarded from Jan. 1, 2018, to Jan. 1, 2020, and identify any waste, fraud, neglect or abuse to the Executive Inspector General,” said Niemerg, R-Dieterich.

He said with the $140 billion unfunded pensions and billions in backlogged bills, the audit will help get the state’s financial house in order and combat the “culture of corruption.”

Single chamber audit resolutions trigger review without the need for the other chamber or the governor to approve. Joint resolutions need approval from both chambers, but not the governor.

Staff Reporter

Greg Bishop reports on Illinois government and other issues for The Center Square. Bishop has years of award-winning broadcast experience and hosts the WMAY Morning Newsfeed out of Springfield.