FileCabinetsSPRINGFIELD – Today the Illinois Senate passed bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) to direct the Illinois auditor general to investigate an unnecessary, $2.4 million warehouse lease deal signed by the Rauner administration at a time of unprecedented financial crisis.

Manar's legislation, House Joint Resolution 63, also puts a stop to new lease agreements during the auditor’s review. The Senate voted unanimously, 46-0, on Wednesday to adopt the resolution.

“I think this kind of wasteful spending during a historic budget crisis is going to be a legacy of the Rauner administration,” Manar said. “While lawmakers are struggling with fiscal questions about how to balance the state budget, the administration is making decisions every day to waste money on fees, procurement and leases that are absolutely unnecessary.”

The Springfield building, a former furniture store, could have been purchased for $750,000, but the five-year, six-figure lease deal was inked after the state received only one bid. The relationships between the seller of the property, the purchaser of the property and the chairman of the state’s Procurement Policy Board have come under intense scrutiny.

The property is being used to store state records. Since that lease came to light earlier this year, at least two more questionable and expensive state leases have come to light.

“The people I represent ask the basic question, ‘Why can’t you fix all of this government waste to help manage the state’s finances?’ I think that’s a valid question. Over the past six months we've gotten no answers from the Rauner administration,” Manar said. “Republicans and Democrats all came together to pass this resolution today. We hope to get to the bottom of this and send a strong message to the administration.”

The resolution was sponsored in the House by Rep. David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills).

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