Ill. GA Reduces Govt. Duplication

General Assembly takes step to reduce administrative expenses, consolidate operations. Under the setup in place in Springfield’s Capitol Complex heading into Fiscal Year 2019, the Illinois General Assembly had two separate nonpartisan research offices. The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability (CGFA), the General Assembly’s budget-monitoring and research arm, was in place to examine and oversee trends involving Illinois’ tax revenues, budgets, and spending. As a nonpartisan oversight panel with jurisdiction over cash flow issues, CGFA was in close contact with the General Assembly’s appropriations and revenue committees.

At the same time, another nonpartisan office – the General Assembly’s Legislative Research Unit (LRU) – was available to conduct research projects into issues of state policy other than appropriations and budget matters. For example, if a legislator or a legislative committee wanted to study the current status of legislation among the 50 states in issues such as criminal law or financial regulation, they could go to LRU and get a research report.

As time passed, it became clear that there was a good deal of overlap between the duties of these two offices. Running them separately had created a need for redundant taxpayer-paid staff. HB 3538 merged the two offices, eliminating full-time staff positions and reducing taxpayer costs. CGFA, co-chaired by House Republican Rep. C.D. Davidsmeyer, will be the surviving office within the overall merger. This fall 2018 bill also streamlines some reporting requirements and allows for reports to be filed electronically. The new measure was signed into law as Public Act 100-1148 on Monday, Dec. 10, 2018.

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