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White to legislators: Keep tax hike or lose your armed police protection

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014

* Whenever government agencies are threatened with budget cuts, they can usually be counted on to highlight the most draconian possibilities which could result. From Illinois Public Radio

Gov. Pat Quinn and other Democrats say if the [income] tax rate is allowed to drop, there would have to be massive cuts across state government.

For example, Secretary of State Jesse White said his office would have to cut nearly $39 million under the “not recommended” budget. […]

The threatened cuts include the entire state Capitol Police force, which was established about a decade ago, after a deranged man shot and killed an unarmed security officer. The shooting led to the installation of metal detectors and x-ray machines, and hiring sworn, armed law enforcement personnel.

White said unless the legislature makes the temporary tax increase permanent, the entire force will be eliminated — leaving just the unarmed guards.

“We just believe if we have to revert back to the days when this gentleman was killed, that it may not be in the best interests of the members of the Illinois General Assembly, or the people at large,” he said.

There’s no doubt that the cuts would be huge. And there’s also undoubtedly no small amount of poetic justice to White’s argument.

But could it really happen? I’m not so sure.

By the way, White also said he’d have to close 25 drivers license facilities and lay off 200 people and wouldn’t be able to mail notices to remind motorists to renew their licenses and their plate stickers.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - fed up - Tuesday, Apr 29, 14 @ 9:42 am:

    I bet Jessie White wont be laying off his Family memebers or friends that he feels the need to deny romantic relationships with.

  2. - Ahoy! - Tuesday, Apr 29, 14 @ 9:43 am:

    –By the way, White also said he’d have to close 25 drivers license facilities and lay off 200 people and wouldn’t be able to mail notices to remind motorists to renew their licenses and their plate stickers–

    Why are those costs not separated out of the budget and taken out of fee’s associated with the drivers facilities? We shouldn’t be using the income tax to pay for postage of mailing out reminders for license plate and sticker fee’s.

  3. - Realist - Tuesday, Apr 29, 14 @ 9:43 am:

    What exactly would White’s office be doing at that point? He makes it sound like they would be zeroing out his budget.

  4. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Apr 29, 14 @ 9:47 am:

    Sorry - too extreme to be believed as anything but a silly threat.

    White is firing all his cannons at once - he should have done this slowly, to let the news build up and stew a bit.

    So it loses effect this way.

  5. - Tsavo - Tuesday, Apr 29, 14 @ 9:51 am:

    What about Mr. White’s bodyguards (drivers)? Will they be disbanded and sent back to their original units to do real police work?

    Stupid question, I did not think so.

  6. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Apr 29, 14 @ 9:51 am:

    Because the best, most judicious means of operating that office would be by immediately implementing the one option that most directly impacts legislators and their personal safety.

    Pure coincidence, I am certain.

  7. - Bogart - Tuesday, Apr 29, 14 @ 9:51 am:

    My plates expire in June. Still have not received the mythical notice to renew in the mail. Same thing happened last year. Notice came in June.

  8. - Generation X - Tuesday, Apr 29, 14 @ 9:53 am:

    Not sure there would be a whole lot of public sympathy anyway for the Legislators losing security, but particularly not with the uptick in violence in Chicago.

  9. - RonOglesby - Tuesday, Apr 29, 14 @ 9:53 am:

    Ahhh. Always find places to cut that hurt the most! And when that doesn’t work use threats!

  10. - Geronimo - Tuesday, Apr 29, 14 @ 9:54 am:

    Hope it happens. Shared sacrifice.

  11. - Oneman - Tuesday, Apr 29, 14 @ 9:55 am:

    So license fees don’t cover the cost of operating the facilities?

    I guess my other question is how did he manage to operate the department before the tax increase?

  12. - cover - Tuesday, Apr 29, 14 @ 10:00 am:

    = So license fees don’t cover the cost of operating the facilities? =

    They once were used that way. In response to complaints about “diversions” from the Road Fund, and to help fund a capital construction program, the costs of driver’s facilities as well as the State Police were shifted from the Road Fund to general funds back in fiscal year 2010.

  13. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Apr 29, 14 @ 10:02 am:

    The “not recommended” budget is actually $11 million MORE than the office’s FY 2013 “actual expenditure”.

    Things must have changed really dramatically over the course of one year, 2014.

  14. - RonOglesby - Tuesday, Apr 29, 14 @ 10:05 am:

    “The “not recommended” budget is actually $11 million MORE than the office’s FY 2013 “actual expenditure”.”

    Wow, and then they wonder why no one believes them when they say “WE HAVE CUT TO THE BONE!!!”

  15. - Andrew Szakmary - Tuesday, Apr 29, 14 @ 10:07 am:


    He was able to operate his department the same way as every other department was able to operate with woefully inadequate revenues: by shorting the pensions.

  16. - Walker - Tuesday, Apr 29, 14 @ 10:08 am:

    @OneMan: The tax increase did not result in more funds for this agency — or for most of the ongoing operating functions of the state government. It went to higher Medicaid expenses, higher full pension payments, and paying down old bills. Normal discretionary spending has been cut substantially in most agencies.

    Jesse’s done a good job in modernizing and improving services at his drivers’ facilities. Note also that the SOS does a lot more than drivers’ services.

    Agree, it’s a blatantly political statement by White, but not without some wider truth attached.

  17. - Jose Abreu's next homer - Tuesday, Apr 29, 14 @ 10:15 am:

    Man, times are a tumblin’.

  18. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Apr 29, 14 @ 10:23 am:

    Perhaps a more appropriate way to deal with this would be to either fold the redundant SOS Police into the ISP and not hire more cadets (and their police cars already have the radios and stuff hooked up!) or get rid of said redundant PD.
    It’s our Capitol, Jesse, not the Legislature’s. Nice play, though.

  19. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Apr 29, 14 @ 10:36 am:

    I don’t think it’s ultimately Jesse’s call whether their is armed guards in the Capitol. The GA writes the laws and makes the approps.

  20. - A guy... - Tuesday, Apr 29, 14 @ 10:38 am:

    They might as well get rid of the teesy postcard they send for license renewals. They are nearly invisible, often sent way too early, and give the appearance of a free egg roll with your order from Chang’s or free bread sticks with a medium pizza at Domino’s. If you catch one (I almost never do)it’s 2 months early- which made me wonder why there isn’t an option for 3 years or an auto-renew with a credit card ala the IPass. I continue to be reminded of the lapse by a friendly police officer nearly every time. Judging by my colleagues in the line, many of them have the same “renewal” notice.

  21. - DuPage - Tuesday, Apr 29, 14 @ 10:46 am:

    @Arthur Anderson10:23=fold the redundant SOS Police into the ISP=

    Years ago, I heard the pay scale was lower for SOS, so it might actually cost more to fold them into the ISP.

  22. - Jimbo - Tuesday, Apr 29, 14 @ 10:51 am:

    Well, one person was killed a decade ago. It is unlikely that the millions spent on security have prevented nothing. I think we should cut it either way.

  23. - A guy... - Tuesday, Apr 29, 14 @ 10:55 am:

    The DMV offices might need armed guards more than the Capitol. Seems like a lot of angry people there.

  24. - Jimbo - Tuesday, Apr 29, 14 @ 10:57 am:

    Have prevented anything. Oops. Point is that one deranged lunatic is not cause for forming a new police force.

  25. - Walter Mitty - Tuesday, Apr 29, 14 @ 10:57 am:

    Simple solution:
    Pat, this is Jesse. Do me a solid will you? You know how yesterday you said you are for $100 million for the library? Say you are for $61 million for the library. What else can I do to help you and our party to stop making these crazy statements?
    PQ: You made this crazy statement, not me. Thanks for the cover for one day.

  26. - Walter Mitty - Tuesday, Apr 29, 14 @ 11:00 am:

    But that will never happen… Us as voters are too stupid to realize…. Keep electing them…

  27. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Apr 29, 14 @ 11:01 am:

    Walter, simple solutions are usually neither. That library money would be bonded and non-recurring. So if you wanna use one-time borrowed money for permanent operations go right ahead. I’m not a fan.

  28. - Walter Mitty - Tuesday, Apr 29, 14 @ 11:07 am:

    Sorry Rich.. Welcome back! That was Snark… I lost my mind last week at the hint of spending money on a library. I could not even get upset when PQ doubled down yesterday. My point is threats and bad ideas like the library and The Tumbler in Chief have overplayed their hand… You can’t say the sky is falling one day, then the next say we need $100 mil for a library… Sorry for the rant again everyone!

  29. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Apr 29, 14 @ 11:58 am:

    Walter Mitty - I rather enjoy dialogue scenes when they pop up in comments, whether they come Oswego Willy’s fake tweets, caption contests or you.

    All is forgiven. Especially in light of your blinding anger over the unprecedented $100 million giveaway.

  30. - dupage dan - Tuesday, Apr 29, 14 @ 12:29 pm:

    Oh, brother. I had much respect for Sec’y White and his provisions re new drivers, especially since our son was on the receiving end of the enhanced policies.

    That being said, recent problems with his endorsements and staffing issues have tarnished his image. This hyperbole certainly is moving the needle - in the wrong direction. Someone could take a run at White and make some headway, I think.

  31. - Wumpus - Tuesday, Apr 29, 14 @ 12:32 pm:

    He’d hate for something bad to happen to them. Who will protect them from ninja assassin gymnasts/tumblers?

  32. - thechampaignlife - Tuesday, Apr 29, 14 @ 12:36 pm:

    Can we get a multi-year plate renewal option? I’d like to not have to mess with this every year and it’d save staff and postage costs for the State.

  33. - Keyser Soze - Tuesday, Apr 29, 14 @ 12:53 pm:

    Would the Capitol Police be missed? I won’t answer that one.

  34. - Just Me - Tuesday, Apr 29, 14 @ 1:15 pm:

    2001 called and they want their old school ways of state management back. Collect people’s email addresses and email them a notice if you feel reminders are absolutely necessary. The additional cost in administration is surely far lower then in postage.

    I’ve wondered why this wasn’t done for years.

  35. - A guy... - Tuesday, Apr 29, 14 @ 1:17 pm:

    Once you are known as the political mentor of an indicted State Rep who is expelled, then re-elected over your next new guy- life just ain’t the same. Ticking off legislators isn’t a good approach when your funding depends on them.

  36. - Walter Mitty - Tuesday, Apr 29, 14 @ 1:28 pm:

    FKA…..Thank you…I am over it… Serenity Now! Serenity Now!

  37. - DuPage - Tuesday, Apr 29, 14 @ 1:32 pm:

    @Jimbo10:57=is not cause for forming a new police force.=
    The SOS police have been around for decades, but they were assigned to different things. Checking up on car dealers, large trucking fleets license plates, parking lots to verify enough handicap parking spaces, etc., etc..
    Providing security is just one of many things they have been called upon to do.

  38. - Anon - Tuesday, Apr 29, 14 @ 1:49 pm:

    White’s critics are in denial. They believe that slashing state revenues can be accomplished without slashing state spending on basic services.

  39. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Apr 29, 14 @ 2:00 pm:

    DuPage, SOS cops are paid less than State Troopers. However, 100 SOS cops already on the payroll are a lot cheaper than 100 new ISP cadets not already in the budget and on the payroll.
    I’m also certain that the SOS can turn disabled parking counting and “visiting car dealers” to non-sworn personnel. AA would visit all the exotic and sports car dealers part-time for almost minimum wage if it was part-time.

  40. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Apr 29, 14 @ 3:07 pm:

    Walter Mitty - the new state motto, perhaps?

  41. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Apr 29, 14 @ 3:12 pm:

    Anon - Please explain how an $11 million INCREASE over the SoS 2013 “actual expenditures” would suddenly lead to such crippling measures? What changed so dramatically in less than 1 year?

    Facts indicate these “threats” have no credibility behind them and even less truth.

  42. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Apr 29, 14 @ 3:30 pm:


    The “Not Recommended” budget for General Funds is almost $30M less than FY13 expenditures ($25M of that cut is in payroll). There would be consequences to adopting the “Not Recommended” budget and staffing cuts is obviously one of those consequences.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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