(The Center Square) – A recent audit of a Pritzker administration COVID-era grant program for businesses is more evidence to Republicans who are skeptical of how the governor manages the state’s finances.

Democrats herald their management of the state’s finances. Gov. J.B. Pritzker regularly touts credit upgrades over the past several years, despite Illinois still having the nation’s worst credit rating tied with New Jersey.

With the budget for the coming fiscal year, the governor is being given the authority to manage what could be a $1.1 billion taxpayer cost for undocumented migrant health care. But, a recent Auditor General report on the governor’s handling of the Business Interruption Grant gives state Rep. Mike Marron, R-Fithian, pause, considering how other programs have been run like the state’s unemployment agency.

Pritzker has said some cost controls like co-pays could be implemented.

State Rep. Norine Hammond, R-Macomb, said the governor’s track record on managing programs causes concern.

“When word of this program reaches the full community of the undocumented, this program is going to explode, absolutely explode,” Hammond said. “And how the governor manages this is beyond me.”

The BIG audit found that Pritzker-administered state agencies lacked proper oversight of the $585 million in grants to businesses, initiated the spending without administrative rules and didn’t comply with conflict of interest policies.

Associate Editor

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.