An effort to save Illinois taxpayers money and reduce the size of government looks to have buckled under public pressure. Department of Public Health Director Dr. Nirav Shah has been working with Illinois Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton) to abolish the 17-member State Board of Health.

A spokeswoman for the department told Illinois Radio Network the advisory board created unnecessary delays in getting administrative rules into place and cost taxpayers thousands of dollars every time it meets. Haine said in March that the board may have been useful when it was formed in the 1990s, but no longer.

Click here for Haine's comments

But recently Haine amended the bill to keep the board intact but no longer have it approve department rules.  Board members would no longer be paid a per diem fee.  The Illinois Radio Network reports Senator Haine has not responded to repeated requests for comment, and the department refused to comment as well. Senate Bill 2416 is due back in committee Tuesday afternoon.


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