Republican state lawmakers believe the troubled Neighborhood Recovery Initiative is alive—and still getting millions in state funds. They’re pointing to $20 million given to the Illinois Department of Labor to provide grants for community support and after-school programs. To Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont), that’s too similar to the NRI, which Republicans claim amounted to a political slush fund for Gov. Pat Quinn ahead of the 2010 election.
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“That is clearly our concern,” Radogno said. “I mean, that’s the pattern that we saw with NRI. We saw a chunk of money without a particular purpose, and then, shortly before an election, it started moving and going into programs that, certainly in retrospect, had very dubious value.”
Radogno says Quinn should be more specific about the criteria for recipients of these grants.
A spokesman for Quinn’s re-election campaign says the Republican lawmakers coordinated this attack with the Bruce Rauner campaign as a distraction from issues related to Rauner’s former investment company.