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State

Lawmakers to allow subpoenas for violence program

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A legislative commission that helps review the use of public money has voted to grant itself subpoena powers to investigate Gov. Pat Quinn's troubled anti-violence program.

The Legislative Audit Commission voted in favor of the Republican state Sen. Jason Barickman's motion by a 10-1 vote Tuesday.

Barickman says the commission now can call former agency employees forward that it otherwise would not have had the power to.

Several Democrats on the commission say they hope subpoena powers will be used to investigate problems at other agencies.

Quinn's Neighborhood Recovery Initiative Program is the subject of Cook County and federal probes.

Barickman says taxpayer money was "squandered" for a "political slush fund" launched shortly before Quinn's 2010 election.

Quinn says he identified problems and disbanded the agency that ran the program.

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