Republicans fault Pritzker for not securing prisoner review board appointees

Gov. J.B. Pritzker can blame himself for not receiving legislative approval for his appointees to the Illinois Prisoner Review Board, a Republican state senator says.

On a bipartisan vote in committee Tuesday, senators sent out two Pritzker appointees to the PRB without recommendation. Those members had a record of letting convicted criminals out of prison early more than 40% of the time. A third member with a leniency rate of about 29% was approved by the committee, but later wasn’t able to secure enough votes in the full Senate.

Wednesday, Pritzker defended his nominations and criticized Democrats for listening to Republicans and not showing up to vote.

“It bothers me that they’re listening to the Republican rhetoric which is, once again, false,” Pritzker said Wednesday in Springfield. “They’re telling false stories. It’s a lot of Facebook fakery about these folks that are nominated.”

State Sen. Jason Plummer, R-Edwardsville, serves on the Executive Appointments Committee and said Republicans are not spreading fake news. They’re highlighting high leniency rates of the nominees serving on the board leading to convicted criminals being let free.

“The governor has been playing games with this for over a year and the games have caught up with him,” Plummer told The Center Square. “The fact of the matter is he’s been skirting the constitutional process because he’s not comfortable that the Senate Democrats will even support his nominees because they’re so troubling.”

Republicans have highlighted for months how the governor has appointed members to the PRB, withdrawn them after the Senate doesn’t take them up, and then reappoints them, starting the clock over for when they must be approved.

Without enough PRB members, Pritzker warned the body won’t be able to function properly.

“If we don’t appoint enough members to the PRB, if they’re not approved, right, the PRB will not be able to have a quorum and … a lack of a quorum wouldn’t therefore be able to keep people in prison who are brought back when they violate their parole conditions,” Pritzker said.

Plummer said that wouldn’t be a problem if the governor put his ego aside and filled vacancies with appointees that get bipartisan support.

“And to sit down and work with the legislative branch to put forward people who represent mainstream values of Illinoisans,” Plummer said. “This isn’t a Republican or Democrat issue. This is just a common sense issue and the governor is failing this common sense issue.”

It’s expected the Senate could take up other nominees to the PRB in the days ahead.

This article was originally posted on Republicans fault Pritzker for not securing prisoner review board appointees

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