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Today’s numbers

Monday, Mar 10, 2014

* From a press release…

Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced that her office collected nearly $1 billion in 2013 on behalf of the State of Illinois.

Through a combination of litigation and collection efforts, Madigan’s office generated more than $32 for every tax dollar appropriated to the office in 2013. Since Madigan took office, total collections have reached over $10 billion.

“My office works to maximize revenue to support critical state programs and services, and we do this while maintaining the lowest level of taxpayer funding since 1997,” Madigan said. “Since my first term as Attorney General, we’ve secured over $10 billion in revenue to fund state operations.”

In 2013, Madigan’s office collected $992,581,592.32 on behalf of the state. The Attorney General’s office generated nearly $374.5 million of this amount through collections litigation for damage to state property, child support, unpaid educational loans, fines and penalties. In addition, the Attorney General’s office collected nearly $273.6 million through tobacco litigation and nearly $243.6 million in estate tax revenues.

Additionally, due to a settlement with JPMorgan Chase & Company, Madigan’s office recovered $101 million for the state’s pension systems to cover losses sustained from investments in mortgage-backed securities that contributed to the economic collapse in 2008.

Madigan’s office operated in 2013 with an appropriation from the state’s general revenue fund of $30,843,200 – the lowest level of funding from taxpayer dollars that the office has received since 1997. Attorney General Madigan’s office generated $32.18 for every state general revenue tax dollar the office received in 2013.

The $992.6 million generated in 2013 does not include more than one billion dollars in benefits that Madigan’s office successfully recovered through mediation and litigation, which is distributed directly to Illinois residents, businesses and organizations often in the form of restitution.

For instance, Attorney General Madigan’s Consumer Fraud Bureau recovered and saved more than $1.1 billion on behalf of defrauded Illinois residents and businesses in 2013, a sum that includes relief that Illinois residents received directly from the $25 billion national foreclosure settlement that Attorney General Madigan secured in conjunction with her state counterparts, the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Over the last two years, Illinois residents have directly received nearly $2 billion in financial relief in the form of principal reductions, loan refinancing and cash payments as a result of the settlement, which was the second largest ever obtained through joint action of state attorneys general.

Madigan’s office also reached several major settlements with the pharmaceutical industry in 2013. Among the most notable is a $1.6 billion joint state and federal settlement with Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals over its illegal marketing of antipsychotic drugs Risperdal and Invega. Illinois received $23.6 million under the agreement.

Madigan’s office also has secured more than $85 million in unpaid gasoline sales taxes through a joint enforcement initiative with the Illinois Department of Revenue. This ongoing investigation is aimed at cracking down on gas station owners who have evaded paying sales taxes by falsely under-reporting sales figures, causing the loss of millions of dollars in state tax revenue.

Thoughts?

- Posted by Rich Miller        


14 Comments
  1. - Pat C - Monday, Mar 10, 14 @ 10:29 am:

    So, she piggybacked off some big Federal settlements. Aside from that, did she really get more than other AGs?


  2. - anon - Monday, Mar 10, 14 @ 10:30 am:

    Impressive given the lack of resources. Attorney positions there as with other state agencies are woefully underpaid even compared to other government agencies. There should be a cost-of-living pay differential for Chicago employees instead of using the same scale as downstate.


  3. - 47th Ward - Monday, Mar 10, 14 @ 10:31 am:

    Most lawyers take a third of winning judgements. Looks like the AG’s office would do much better under that scenario.

    Starting salaries are so low many attorneys have trouble paying back student loans. You work in dumpy offices with old, often broken furniture, with worn carpet and bad lighting. Many employees haven’t had raises in years and the state is trying to diminish their pension.

    It’s a miracle they can find any competent people to work there, much less produce the kind of results they’re bragging about here. Madigan really ought to make a strong push to keep some of the dough she’s been able to collect.


  4. - Soccermom - Monday, Mar 10, 14 @ 10:43 am:

    47th is right. The State shouldn’t offer plush accommodations, but we shouldn’t expect smart professionals to work in substandard conditions for way below-market salaries. We want to find talented, committed, idealistic professionals, but they shouldn’t have to take a vow of poverty in order to serve the people.


  5. - Anonymous - Monday, Mar 10, 14 @ 10:50 am:

    Adding over $10 billion since she became AG is pretty darn impressive. I wonder how that compares to other states or to previous IL AGs?


  6. - lake county democrat - Monday, Mar 10, 14 @ 10:57 am:

    This Madigan-cabal hater will give Lisa Madigan her props as a consumer advocate (and demerits elsewhere, but overall I’d grade her B+). I’d have respected her a lot more even with her father-ties had she run for U.S. Senate in 2008.


  7. - Mongo - Monday, Mar 10, 14 @ 11:07 am:

    Ditto 47th and Soccermom…we work with the AG’s office on some issues and in the last four years have seen significant turnover in our contacts and in leadership. Low pay, it’s a killer for retention.


  8. - Ghost - Monday, Mar 10, 14 @ 11:18 am:

    One way the State can raise more money without additional taxes is by increasing enfrocement and collection. Expand the AG’s office enfrocement and collection areas. Put the money in a fund to run the AG’s office and sweep the left over at the end of the year. Let her pay her professional staff wages to keep them on board and attract experienced people to enhance her staff.

    Its not magic beans, its getting the fines and money owed to the State already, and we need to do more of it. Cutting/reducing enforcement agencies, like revenue, DFPR, the AG’s office etc is backwards. it doesnt save money it costs us money because we are not collecting what is already owed to us.


  9. - Arizona Bob - Monday, Mar 10, 14 @ 11:51 am:

    Took a look at the AGs phone list. She lists about 900 employees. That comes to a little over $34,270 apiece, including benefits and overhead.
    Either there are a lot of part timers,or the average pay is under $10/hour.

    Somethings got to be wrong with that number. The directory shows quite a few employees working on “Workman’s Comp”, yet she doesn’t list any significant revenues from that. I guess its politically easier to go after banks, small business owners,and dead beat Dads than formerr payrollers with connections or connected lawyers.


  10. - 3rd Generation Chicago Native - Monday, Mar 10, 14 @ 12:21 pm:

    Granted they said she collected child support, but that should be deducted because that goes to the custodial parent. Yes it is money collected but not going to the state funds.


  11. - Jon - Monday, Mar 10, 14 @ 12:55 pm:

    Something missing from the AG’s math is the costs they pass on to state agencies while representing those agencies. The AG’s Office “bills” for travel costs and other court costs. Also not accounted for are attorney’s fees for the cases the AG decides not to defend the State against, i.e. same sex marriage, gender change, etc. Those too come out of the budgets of state agencies, therefore taxpayers are footing the bill for ACLU attorneys.


  12. - Mr. T - Monday, Mar 10, 14 @ 1:37 pm:

    Still looking for Gov. Quinn to step out during the summer and Lisa step in.


  13. - JustMe_JMO - Tuesday, Mar 11, 14 @ 9:29 am:

    Hmm AG’s and Comptroller’s amounts seem to be off a tiny bit.

    Comptroller Revenue by Agency (340)
    FY2013 130.3 Mil FY2014 115 Mil

    Select by Agency on this page https://www.wh1.ioc.state.il.us/?LinkServID=B6062C9E-E0C7-3CE9-0350EEF3D86B6106


  14. - Arizona Bob - Tuesday, Mar 11, 14 @ 11:26 am:

    Just me, that comes to about $144K per employee. that sounds about right when you consider grossly overpaying for office rental to political cronies, and “outsourcing” to politically connected lawfirms.

    $30 million for 900 employees just doesn’t wash.


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