CHICAGO – As part of his ongoing budget review, Governor Quinn today announced that the state of Illinois had again cut property leases to save an additional $55 million by continuing to downsize the space it leases in the upcoming fiscal year. This brings the total savings accomplished since the Governor took office to $220 million in property leases through consolidation, elimination or negotiation – roughly the equivalent of space in Chicago's Trump Tower.
Today’s announcement is part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to make state government efficient and accountable to taxpayers.
"Making government more efficient and doing more with less each year is always a priority," Governor Quinn said. "That's why as part of my ongoing budget review, we are continuing to downsize and eliminate space that the state leases, which will save taxpayers an additional $55 million this year alone."
When Governor Quinn took office, he directed the state to undertake a comprehensive effort to negotiate better lease rates for offices, and to close or consolidate duplicative, outdated or unnecessary space. That effort has resulted in $220 million in savings to date, including this year's additional $55 million, and cleared out 2.5 million square feet of leased space, roughly the equivalent of Chicago’s Trump Tower. In addition, state facility closures are saving taxpayers an additional $100 million annually.
Moving offices of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) – from 32 W. Randolph St. in downtown Chicago to significantly less expensive space at 33 S. State St. saved taxpayers more than $4 million and eliminated 142,643 square feet of leased space.
Other recent lease cost-saving moves include:
- The state is vacating two Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS) offices on Chicago’s North Side, consolidating the offices into new space at 5040-5060 N. Broadway to save state taxpayers about $118,000 a year.
- The DHS is moving from the Hay Edwards Building into the Harris Building in Springfield, saving taxpayers $1.4 million a year in lease costs.
- Five DHS offices in Charleston, Tuscola, Shelbyville, Paris and Effingham are moving into one new office in Charleston, saving state taxpayers $119,000 a year.
Since taking office and inheriting decades of mismanagement, Governor Quinn has enacted major reforms that are saving taxpayers billions of dollars. The Governor has saved taxpayers more than $3 billion by overhauling Illinois’ Medicaid system, cutting Medicaid spending and rooting out waste, fraud and abuse. He also passed comprehensive pension reform that will save taxpayers more than $140 billion over the next 30 years.
Additionally, the Governor negotiated a historic contract with Illinois’ employee unions that includes $900 million in savings for Illinois taxpayers. The Governor also enacted comprehensive worker’s compensation reform that has saved state taxpayers more than $40 million to date. The state workforce is the smallest it has been in decades, with 4,000 fewer state employees than we had five years ago. All things included, over the last five years, Governor Quinn has cut state spending by more than $5.7 billion.
To build on this progress, Governor Quinn is proposing a five-year blueprint to secure the state’s finances for the long-term and invest like never before in education and early childhood. The blueprint includes a historic $6 billion increase in classroom spending over the next five years, doubling the investment in college scholarships for students in need and increasing access to higher education through dual enrollment and early college programs. The Governor’s plan was lauded by all three bond-rating agencies for its comprehensive approach to paying down bills, stabilizing the state's finances and enacting spending restraints.
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