SPRINGFIELD- State Senator Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington) joined fellow Senators Monday calling for a confirmation hearing on Dr. David Gill’s nomination to become the Assistant Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Senators Darin LaHood (R-Peoria), Sam McCann (R-Carlinville), Kyle McCarter (R-Lebanon), and Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet) called on the Senate Executive Appointments Committee to hear testimony from Dr. Gill about the circumstances of his appointment and his qualifications for the position.
Gill, of Bloomington, is a four-time Congressional candidate who had openly stated he was considering another run for office. But the appointment came just days before a preferred candidate announced her intentions to run for the seat. The IDPH position pays more than $127,000 per year.
Under the state constitution, Gill's appointment must be reviewed and voted on by the Senate. However, the committee charged with responsibility for reviewing the Governor's appointments held its last hearing Monday and did not include Gill on the list of appointees to be reviewed. By failing to place Gill on the list for the final meeting of the Senate's Executive Appointments Committee, the Governor and Senate Democrats were able to shield Gill from review before the legislature adjourns at the end of May. Barickman joined his fellow Senators in calling for the Governor and majority Democrats to allow a hearing on Gill's appointment.
“Dr. Gill is my constituent, and he has asked me to sponsor his appointment,” said Senator Barickman. “But, as long as he, the Governor, and the Senate Democratic leadership refuse to put him forward for a public hearing, he won’t have my support.”
Barickman says the state constitution gives the Senate the duty to advise and consent on the Governor’s appointments to major positions.
“We’re not asking for a special hearing on Dr. Gill’s appointment,” he said. “We simply believe that transparency and openness belong in state government. Dr. Gill should be vetted by the Senate and voted on by the Senate. It is in the best interest of taxpayers if we do.”
94.1 FM, WGFA