Legislative Audit Commission calls for audit of PUA and BIG programs

This week, the members of the Legislative Audit Commission passed two resolutions requesting that the Illinois Auditor General perform full audits of the state’s Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Business Interruption Grant (BIG) programs.

In July, the Illinois Auditor General released a blistering but limited financial report of the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) that covered roughly two months of the 16-month PUA program. That report, which prompted the Commission’s resolution, noted numerous failures by the Pritzker Administration in its management of the state’s unemployment programs, including payment of unemployment benefits to deceased individuals and awarding potentially ineligible claimants during the two-month period with nearly $155 million.

Senator Sue Rezin supports the call for a more in-depth audit of the entire PUA program, and believes that many of the program’s failures could have been avoided.

Additionally, Senator Rezin supports the Commission’s decision to call for an audit of the state’s BIG program, which has had concerns raised about grants going to businesses already permanently shut down, its failure to meet statutory goals for the distribution of grants to downstate businesses, and the prioritization of businesses in some pre-selected ZIP codes for grant funding.

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