CHICAGO – Governor Quinn today cut Illinois’ Fiscal Year 2015 state budget, zeroing out $250 million for renovations of the state Capitol. In addition, as part of his ongoing budget review, the Governor directed state agencies to identify additional efficiencies, including selling nearly half of the state’s aircraft.
Last week, the Governor announced more than $55 million in efficiencies including reduced parking and reduced leases. Since taking office, Governor Quinn has cut state spending by more than $5.7 billion and today’s action continues the Governor's commitment to making state government more efficient and accountable to taxpayers.
“While legislators didn't do their job on the budget, I will continue to do mine,” Governor Quinn said. “Reducing the budget and identifying additional efficiencies will help minimize the impact of cuts in vital services and maintain our hard-won fiscal gains. While there's more work to do, we must ensure the state lives within its means.”
The Governor’s reductions include vetoing $250 million in appropriations for renovations to the state Capitol building. While ensuring the Capitol building is modern and accessible to all people in Illinois is a priority, the state cannot afford to move forward with additional renovations this year. In 2013, the Governor halted renovations at the Capitol after excessive flourishes and spending by the architect was brought to his attention.
As part of the budget review which commenced June 1, the Governor directed his administration to conduct a thorough review of the state's aircraft to determine the state's needs. Selling nearly half the state's air fleet continues the Governor's commitment to making Illinois government more efficient while ensuring travel for official state business continues.
Currently the state owns 21 aircraft and spends more than $7 million to operate and maintain the fleet each year. Governor Quinn today instructed the Illinois Department of Central Management Services (CMS) to put nine aircraft – including seven from the Illinois Department of Transportation and two from the Illinois State Police – on the market while maintaining several aircraft to continue state government operations.
Last week the Governor directed state agencies to cut 80 paid parking spaces for state employees in downtown garages – more than 30 percent of the total spots reserved. The move will save taxpayers more than $100,000 annually. He also again reduced lease costs for government buildings that will save taxpayers an additional $55 million this year.
In March, the Governor submitted a balanced budget plan that continued paying down the state's bills, protected education and public safety, and secured Illinois’ long-term financial future, but legislators instead postponed the tough budget decisions.