HaineThe Illinois Department of Health is looking to abolish its own State Board of Health, saying it costs taxpayers thousands of dollars every month and needlessly holds up important changes.

Alton Democrat Sen. Bill Haine is moving legislation that would abolish the board that has existed since the early 90’s.

The 17-member board, consisting of physicians, community members and patient advocates, includes a suburban dentist, a nurse from downstate Illinois, a chiropractor and a retired police chief who now works as an environmental health practitioner.

Sen. Haine said the director of the health department came to him to file legislation and he found it had merit.

“The Public Health Board, while made up of many good people, is frankly unnecessary,” Haine said, “This is a board that’s really in search of a mission and honestly, it’s not necessary.”

The Department of Health says the members, appointed by the governor, cost the state more than $3,000 a month in per diem costs and provide little more than an additional bureaucratic layer, creating unnecessary delays. The Health Department currently has to run all rule changes past the board before it can bring the changes to the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, something Haine calls a redundancy.

On Friday, Gov. Bruce Rauner announced the reappointments of two members to the State Board of Health: a veterinarian with the University of Illinois and a cardiologist from Glen Ellyn.

Multiple attempts Friday to reach board members were unsuccessful.