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*** UPDATED x4 - Murphy response - Another Rauner response - Cross responds - Rauner responds *** Quinn vetoes Statehouse renovation money, orders “nearly half” of state planes sold

Monday, Jun 30, 2014

* From a press release…

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.

The rest of the budget, with its serious borrowing and spending problems, will apparently be left intact.

*** UPDATE 1 *** Bruce Rauner responds…

“Pat Quinn broke his promise on taxes and his only goal is to permanently take more money out of every hard-working Illinoisans’ paycheck – and this broken budget is the result. In five years of Quinn budgets, we’ve seen higher taxes and decimated education funding, and the results have been the highest unemployment in the Midwest and too many failing schools. We need to fundamentally shake up the way Springfield does business and enact structural reforms to fix our broken state government.”

Except for Rauner’s oft-repeated promise to “shake up” Springfield, he has proposed few concrete ideas to do so. Still, this is an awful budget.

*** UPDATE 2 *** Rep. Tom Cross…

“The budget signed by Governor Quinn today is clearly unconstitutional and violates state law. Both Republicans and Democrats agree that the budget is hundreds of millions of dollars out of balance while wasting millions of hard-earned taxpayer dollars on unnecessary and wasteful projects. If I am fortunate enough to be elected State Treasurer, I will go to court and challenge the legality of this budget which clearly violates Illinois’ Constitution.”

*** UPDATE 3 *** Another Rauner campaign response…

Pat Quinn has now decided to follow Bruce Rauner’s lead and sell part of the state’s air fleet.

“In just one year, Pat Quinn traveled more than 21,000 miles as a frequent flyer on the state’s plane and just a few weeks ago called Bruce’s government reform ideas ‘a prank,’” Rauner campaign spokesman Mike Schrimpf said. “Unfortunately, it’s Pat Quinn who has been cheating Illinois taxpayers for five years.”

“It’s good to see the governor following Bruce’s lead on this,” Schrimpf added. “But Illinoisans will only know Quinn is serious about reform if he follows up by pledging to reduce corporate welfare, eliminate his massive tax hike and come clean about the massive abuse of taxpayer dollars in his administration.”

“Bruce looks forward to living in Springfield, where he can actually do the job of governor and save tax dollars on flights at the same time,” Schrimpf concluded.

*** UPDATE 4 *** From Sen. Matt Murphy…

“This is a phony cut from a phony budget. Why would Pat Quinn try to convince people that he is reining in spending by cutting an appropriation that he knows wasn’t even going to be spent this year? This phony cut will have zero impact on the state budget in Fiscal Year 2015. In the meantime, Illinoisans will continue to live under the economic insecurity created by Governor Quinn’s poor fiscal choices.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Precinct Captain - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 11:02 am:

    I guess the state capitol building should get into a totally decrepit state of repair before the state does anything about it. While this might not be the most politically attractive spending (read: not supported by whiny editorials with no basis in reality), it should be done.

  2. - PoolGuy - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 11:03 am:

    State planes, bronze doors, parking spots, prairie chickens, $18 watches, kid clouting, residency at Gov’s mansion… ugh. taxes and budgets are boring I guess.

    this is the American Idol and Duck Dynasty version of campaigning…

  3. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 11:04 am:

    Selling airplanes? Reducing parking spaces?

    Too little, too late. Such steps easily could, and perhaps should, have been taken long ago. All hat, no cattle.

  4. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 11:11 am:

    Plus, the daily rate on those parking spaces was a very good one. Using the numbers provided by the Governor’s office, it works out to less than $5 per day per parking space.

    If we are going to reimburse people for using those spaces as a travel expense now, this move could actually wind up costing the state about 4 times as much money.

  5. - Stones - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 11:14 am:

    More symbolism than anything else.

  6. - walker - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 11:18 am:

    Pool Guy”===This is the American Idol and Duck Dynasty version of campaigning===

    Wonderful! Right on target.

    Bigger cuts in spending were proposed by the Gov and rejected by both sides in the legislature.

    These smaller cuts have been coming out in dribs and drabs. Some look like reactions to some of Rauner’s critiques. No reason they won’t continue for the next four months. Just like local announcements of grants, etc, as campaign events.

  7. - anon - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 11:26 am:

    Perhaps he could eliminate some of the policy advisors his office has placed in state agencies to do little more than collect a paycheck.

  8. - CirularFiringSquad - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 11:29 am:

    Few Ideas?
    How about none or nothing that has not been kicked around
    Let’s ask the BizWiz to offer up some details on his 400 companies. Start with HomeBanc — one of the nation’s leading predatory, sub prime lenders or TransFirst a computer firm that tossed hundreds out of work.

  9. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 11:30 am:

    Quinn reacting to specific critiques of Rauner makes for a bad way to seem like a leader in this race.

    The Capitol is a gem. Renovating our seat of government is not a frill, it’s preserving our history, and keeping the building holding our seated legislature from falling in disrepair.

    No hard decisions by Quinn here, but typical pandering, but it looks like Rauner is calling the tune.

  10. - Stoney - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 11:31 am:

    The 40 million dollars the ISP (taxpayers) just paid the Dixmoor 5 and their lawyers would have went a long way toward maintaining two airplanes.

  11. - Norseman - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 11:38 am:

    Poltical pablum being fed to the masses to try to enhance his re-election chances. What usually gets sacrificed in these blanket politically symbolic fiats are legitimate needs.

  12. - siriusly - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 11:39 am:

    Rauner’s new excuse for not providing details should be “If I tell you what my plans are Pat will steal them!”

  13. - Cassiopeia - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 11:40 am:

    The sad thing is that Quinn actually believes his press releases.

  14. - Dirty Red - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 11:57 am:

    Cutting the size of the fleet won’t do a whole lot unless it is accompanied by cuts to state controlled property, like the hangars the aircraft are stored in, changes to the jet fuel procurement, and corresponding personnel cuts. You don’t need pilots on the ground waiting to fly aircraft you do not have.

  15. - A guy... - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 12:08 pm:

    Look. Veto session might actually include a veto of an amendatory veto. After the GA pay encroachment, I suspect they will restore the money to keep the capital money for the Capitol.

  16. - JS Mill - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 12:12 pm:

    ….”while wasting millions of hard-earned taxpayer dollars on unnecessary and wasteful projects.”….

    It would be nice if he would mention a couple of specific “projects” when he cites the waste. Doubtless (at least to me) there are numerous wasteful projects out there but one mans waste is another man’s treasure. Mr. Cross needs to name names if he wants to be a real “reformer”, seems like he is following the Rauner plan of vagueness. It would be nice to have a leader in this listless ghost ship of a state.

  17. - Union Man - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 12:15 pm:

    Gov. Quinn is morphing into Rauner.

  18. - Hit or Miss - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 12:49 pm:

    I see only one thing wrong with changes, the cuts save a few million while the unfunded pension debt alone is about $100 billion. Far more needs to be done to solve the states financial problems rather than dress them up. I think that it is another attempt at putting politics ahead of mathematics and financial reality.

  19. - Anonymous - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 1:03 pm:

    What with his dandelions, the leaky mansion roof, and antipathy to The Dome renovation, I’m guessing Quinn is not the kind of guy who whiles away his Sunday mornings at Menards.

  20. - Commander Norton - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 1:08 pm:

    If Rauner is elected and spends less on travel, it will only be because he can afford to pay his own way. As a Springfield resident, I think the governor should live in the Mansion. But that’s not going to preclude the need for frequent travel, to and from Chicago if nowhere else. Illinois is a big state, and the capital city is three and a half hours from the major population center. Public officials are going to need to travel. Period.

  21. - G'Kar - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 1:08 pm:

    Maybe I’m just getting jaded in my old age, but does anyone really believe that Rauner will live in Springfield if he is elected?

  22. - Anon. - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 1:26 pm:

    ==“But Illinoisans will only know Quinn is serious about reform if he follows up by pledging to . . . come clean about the massive abuse of taxpayer dollars in his administration . . . ”

    . . . and tells us when he stopped beating his wife.

    Not sure whether to laugh or cry about silly demands that a candidate either admit guilt or admit that he’s covering something up.

  23. - VanillaMan - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 1:30 pm:

    Pat Quinn is finally running for reelection by doing his job!

    This is how he wins.

  24. - Ducky LaMoore - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 1:41 pm:

    Dear Rauner Campaign,

    I believe the “massive tax hike” is eliminated as it stands right now. Been following the GA at any point?

  25. - Ginhouse Tommy - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 2:08 pm:

    In one corner we have the with the Walmart watch and no tie who keeps taking pot shots and in the other we have Governor Pancake who is trying to figure out what to cut. Reminds me of a Bullwinkle, “watch me pull a rabbit out of a hat” only with the same results. Rich, you were right. It’s going to be a long one, campers. It could be worse. Rob Ford hasn’t started a write in campaign yet and there hasn’t been a Miley sighting in Chicago wearing a White Sox hat.

  26. - MrJM (@MisterJayEm) - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 2:19 pm:

    “Pat Quinn has now decided to follow Bruce Rauner’s lead…”

    Is Pat gonna start flying around the state on hedge-fund billionaire Ken Griffin’s private jet like Bruce does?



    – MrJM

  27. - Formerly Known As... - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 2:41 pm:

    This is like a bad horror movie. Just when you thought the monster was dead and gone, it comes back to life.

    “Return of the BlagoBudget” Opens tomorrow in theaters everywhere across Illinois.

  28. - Former Merit Comp Slave - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 2:46 pm:

    Good one MrJM. I understand all about election year budget politics but taking ISP planes is a bad idea and won’t save enough to matter. I have personally witnessed these planes catch bad guys and more importantly, locate missing elderly with dimentia in extreme weather, which saved their lives

  29. - Precinct Captain - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 2:50 pm:

    ==Pat Quinn is finally running for reelection by doing his job!==

    You confuse “doing his job” with “supporting every policy prescription of VanillaMan.” He’s been doing his job. You can check out the budget books if you don’t think so. They are right here on the World Wide Web for you to read.

  30. - Precinct Captain - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 2:56 pm:

    ==- Former Merit Comp Slave - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 2:46 pm:==

    How many planes does ISP have? Do they need that number? Is there any public safety need to bring any non-operational ISP planes up to operational ability? If the answer to anything but the first question is “no,” sell these ISP planes. Just because it is allegedly in the public safety interest, doesn’t mean it actually is or is exempt from good financial stewardship. As Stoney wrote, if ISP wanted more planes, they could have lead a constitutional investigation to the Dixmoor fellows who were arrested, charged, and convicted as the result an investigation headed by the ISP for a crime they did not commit. That would free up millions.

  31. - Toure's Latte - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 3:01 pm:

    Advantage Rauner. New office pool: date when Quinn finally hires campaign staff willing and able to take fight to Rauner.

  32. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 3:02 pm:

    Another meaningless PQ stunt. Did the harshest critics of the State air fleet have a problem with ISP’s handful of aging little Cessnas? Not that I recall, but they get dragged into this, along with the worker bees at IDOT who use aircraft to oversee airports statewide.

    The Quinnocchio Clown Show never lets up.

  33. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 3:19 pm:

    From the Google: ISP has 5 single engine Cessnas and one twin-engine Cessna.
    IDOT has 4 King Airs, 9 Cessna singles and 3 helicopters.

  34. - Neglected stepchild - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 3:24 pm:

    I’d bet anything Quinn held onto the Chicago Special for himself and Madigan…

  35. - VanillaMan - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 3:42 pm:

    You confuse “doing his job” with “supporting every policy prescription of VanillaMan.”

    I have never said anything like that. Ever.

    What Quinn has to do is show voters what he is doing as governor to better their lives. Whether I like how he did it is irrelevant.

    Quinn can beat Rauner by running for reelection and telling Illinoisans he can do the job better than Rauner and is already in the damn job.

    That has been my point since the Primary.

  36. - wordslinger - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 3:48 pm:

    AA, the faux populism is vintage old Quinn, but the Baron is going to give him a run for the money on it.

    Geez, you know what’s funny? Back in the day, Quinn was the Baron (without the cash or the insider status) — a blowhard with a lot of small-bore ideas masquerading as a heavyweight.

    As governor, Quinn’s actually had to do some heavy-lifting in hard times. Much of it unpopular — tax increases, big budget cuts — but real grownup work. I, for the most part, think he’s played his cards well.

    Rauner is now the glib empty vessel running as the old Quinn.

    This is the last hurrah for the Real Quinn — run like a grownup and leave the childish nonsense to the other guy.

    Pull a Bulworth. Tell the truth. Let it rip.

    Why not? It would be the time of your life, and it would advance the ball a lot.

  37. - Precinct Captain - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 3:52 pm:

    VM, you claim voters should be able to vote on whatever information they want, yet you belittle people who want a tax increase or praise Quinn for signing marriage equality.

  38. - Precinct Captain - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 4:08 pm:

    You mocked people as “losers” who don’t want a governor cavorting around with neo-Confederates who have been “fighting terrorism since 1861.”

    You said people who don’t believe Rauner will “shake up Springfield” are “incredibly delusional and so partisan to not be credible.”

    Just because you say something, that doesn’t make it true. Just because you say Quinn wasn’t “doing his job” doesn’t mean that he wasn’t doing it. He was, it’s just that you didn’t like it.

    ==Quinn has to do is show voters what he is doing as governor to better their lives==

    According to you, the voters get to decide what it is that is the betterment to their lives, yet you demonstrate a continual mockery of people who don’t support your policy prescriptions and pretend any policy prescription that is different is somehow an example of someone not doing their job by wasting time or focusing on something unimportant.

  39. - ChinaTown - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 4:18 pm:

    ==Advantage Rauner. New office pool: date when Quinn finally hires campaign staff willing and able to take fight to Rauner.==


  40. - ChinaTown - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 4:19 pm:

    This just on the Twitters:

    Hannah Meisel @hannahmeisel
    Took 7 hours for @GovernorQuinn to release a statement on #HarrisvQuinn…only took House minority leader Jim Durkin like 5 mins this a.m.

  41. - facts are stubborn things - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 4:25 pm:

    The flight department is funded by the road fund as is a part of IDOT. This will not reduce the deficit one penny. Not to say that it is good or bad, just pointing out that the flight department does not receive any general fund revenue. One could argue this reduction is needed and the funds better spent on roads, but again does not effect the general state budget.

  42. - ChinaTown - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 4:49 pm:

    Question is why Quinn’s message about this on a day he took labor’s fight for collective bargaining, in his own name, to SCOTUS? Easy issue to pound Rauner over the head with, as is contraceptive equity.

    Rauner should be holed up in his bunker with spox holding his fingers in his ears repeating “Bruce has no social agenda…” Instead, they’re whacking Quinn on budget, tax hikes, stealing Rauner’s “ideas.”

  43. - Cheswick - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 5:28 pm:

    Good for Quinn for making Rauner dance.

  44. - Steamer - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 8:55 pm:

    Laughing…PQ will sell the ones that are needed for the States work & keep the aircraft that flies him & his cronies back & forth to Chicago. I’ll miss his goofy ideas, goofier press releases and unconstitutional moves in the interest of ….well…..Him!

  45. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 9:49 pm:

    As always word is spot on. I was also reminded that the GOP side of the Clown Show says “get rid of ‘em all” apparently thinking (?) that it’s more cost-effective to search for missing people and/or oversee 800+ public airports by car. I wonder if one can check an approach light system or the like by driving down the runway extra fast.

    Hey, from what I see on the Facebook, there may be a State Trooper in need of a new assignment. He could be detailed to the Office of Ground Air Operations and watch for speeding airplanes.

  46. - Capo - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 11:46 pm:

    The ISP planes were often used by high level command as a shuttle them from their area of residence (usually North) to Springfield. They seemingly felt they were so important and their time was so valuable they could not make the drive. I second the comments regarding the Dixmor 5. The ISP is vastly over-rated as a police agency. Good P.R. is about all they have going for them and even that is starting to show some cracks.

  47. - facts are stubborn things - Tuesday, Jul 1, 14 @ 7:30 am:

    @- Arthur Andersen - Monday, Jun 30, 14 @ 3:19 pm:

    =From the Google: ISP has 5 single engine Cessnas and one twin-engine Cessna.
    IDOT has 4 King Airs, 9 Cessna singles and 3 helicopters. =

    Aeronautics a division of IDOT has 4 king air 350’s, 2 helicopters, 7 single engine Cessna airplanes and a Cessna 337 which has two engines, one in front and one in back….a push pull — small 4 seater.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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