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Rauner’s “spending freeze”

Tuesday, Jan 13, 2015 - Posted by Rich Miller

* AP

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner moved quickly to address Illinois’ budget mess Monday, taking the oath of office and then ordering state agencies to immediately freeze all nonessential spending.

* React

Some Democrats who attended the inauguration said they want to see how Rauner determines just what is non-essential state spending.

“I think most people would say we tried to pass a lean-and-mean budget and that every bit in the budget is essential,” said Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie. “The governor may have one point of view, but the people who have been working in state agencies over a number of years and the legislature might have another point of view.”


To make a point, Rauner announced a freeze on all nonessential state spending, an order that had Senate President John Cullerton hooting in derision.

“I don’t know exactly what that means and I don’t know if he does either. But it sounds great,” the veteran Democrat said.

* Rauner’s press release explains

Executive Order 15-08 requires every executive branch agency to report to the Governor’s Office of Management & Budget (GOMB) to identify every contract awarded or entered into by a state agency on or after November 1, 2014, and every hiring decision taken by agencies on or after November 1, 2014.

All agencies are further ordered, until July 1, 2015, to halt the awarding, entering into, amending or renewing of state contracts and grants. Exceptions are made for contracts required by law, emergency expenditures, small purchases, and essential operations.

Major interstate construction projects which have not commenced will be reviewed.

The governor also instructed agencies to manage existing resources by halting the sale/lease of motor vehicles, stopping out-of-state travel, and limiting in-state travel.

Executive Order 15-08 further instructs Central Management Services (CMS) to identify surplus property for auction in compliance with state law. Further, GOMB and CMS will review all property owned or leased by the state and develop a strategy for consolidation and relocation of offices.

Finally, the governor ordered all agencies to reduce energy consumption and spending on energy, including reducing heating, air conditioning, and lighting usage when facilities are not in use.

That line about “major interstate construction projects” appears to be aimed at the controversial Illiana Expressway.


  1. - Del Clinkton - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 10:37 am:

    Finally, the governor ordered all agencies to reduce energy consumption and spending on energy, including reducing heating, air conditioning, and lighting usage when facilities are not in use.
    RaunerVich’s “Malaise” speech.

  2. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 10:38 am:

    OK, all non-essential spending would seem to include staff travel. So I hope all of the new Rauner team eats their hotel bills, parking and mileage for the weekend festivities, which while nice, are hardly essential.

    That’s on you guys. Please don’t expense any of this because you now have to live under FOIA. Nothing is secret anymore gang.

  3. - Wordslinger - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 10:39 am:

    So turn off the lights and sell the furniture. He really is busting out the state, lol.

  4. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 10:42 am:

    As soon as anyone figures out what “non-essential” means let the rest of us know.

  5. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 10:44 am:

    I would recommend a reconsolidation of state jobs back to the state capital. According to knowledgeable sources, thousands of state government jobs previously and correctly place within the state capital, have been removed. Doing this would present those office holders with a vastly lower cost of living which would benefit them personally, professionally, and restore needed vitality to the economy of the state capital, ending a drought of jobs at the same time.

  6. - Gone, but not forgotten - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 10:49 am:

    -Demoralized: Maybe the idiotic IDOT “Driving Dead” PSA campaign could be deemed non-essential.

  7. - too obvious - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 10:50 am:

    The enormous pension fund management fees paid to GTCR are DEFINITELY essential.

  8. - Norseman - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 10:50 am:

    The junk in my former office ought to bring a couple hundred bucks using my best “Storage Wars” appraisal techniques. That should pay for the movers to get the stuff out.

    I’ve seen freezes before. It adds another hoop to jump through and a nice sexy phrase for the news release.

  9. - A. Nonymous - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 10:55 am:

    Didn’t other governors try to govern by press release? How’d that work out?

    That list of “non-essential” sounds like Kirk’s staff, not Deer in Headlights Rauner. The new gov was so overwhelmed he couldn’t even figure out which hand to raise during his swearing in…

  10. - x-pol - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 10:55 am:

    The “thaw” will come in March, when votes are being assembled.

  11. - suwit - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 10:56 am:

    How does the number of staff Rauner has appointed to assist him compare in number and salary to those that Quinn had?

  12. - PublicServant - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 10:57 am:

    Yeah, and the reducing heat when the buildings are not in use thing, is always a good one. I’ve seen the results of that one many, many times. Note to penny-pinchers, burst water pipes and the concomitant damage to facilities much more than offsets the pennies saved from cranking the heat down during off hours.

  13. - walker - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 10:59 am:

    Not a bad signal of dire straits to start the cruise. Doubt it will turn up much money right now.

    Cullerton’s has it right. Still sounds like Rauner Team doesn’t really know what’s going on with the numbers. Hopefully thi is just his campaign staff talking. It’s only day one.

  14. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 11:02 am:

    Too obvious, you are obviously an idiot, a troll, or both.

    Go do a little research, like I did, and find out how much the State, through its pension systems, paid GTCR in fees in the most recent FY available.

    Report back when you have finished the crow sandwich.

  15. - JUSTaMOM - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 11:03 am:

    What about the agencies/boards/commissions that are not subject to Executive Orders? Wonder how they will get around that.

  16. - ZC - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 11:05 am:

    Wonderful. So Rauner’s first play to get Illinois moving and growing is to … embrace “the austerity doctrine”?

    When he gets the news, Paul Krugman will be simultaneously laughing and weeping.

  17. - Quill - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 11:06 am:

    Incontinence supplies. Bathing assistance. SNAP. Home services. Wheelchairs and scooters that actually work. I bet you $218923812903213 that very low income people with disabilities will be the first to take the hit of “nonessential” cuts. Spank us where we have no butt, why don’t you.

  18. - Bibe - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 11:07 am:

    I may be misremembering, but sounds almost identical to the first order of the Blago administration.

  19. - DuPage - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 11:09 am:

    Turn off the lights at night, and turn down the heat at night? This has been standard operating procedure for decades. I don’t think there is much more savings to be had without a lot of additional investment, (changing lighting in parking lots to L.E.D.s, higher efficiency boilers, heat transfer devices from exhaust air to outside air intakes, etc.), VERY expensive upgrades. The state buildings must be ventilated properly or they will end up with “sick building syndrome”, very difficult and expensive to fix.

  20. - Tired - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 11:13 am:

    Our agency just received word that we are going to 100% pay for a Gov’s Office employee who will do no work for us. So much for “shaking up Springfield.”

  21. - Ahoy! - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 11:14 am:

    If legislators do not think there is some non-essential spending in the State budget they are completely out of touch and most likely clueless.

    Is it enough to close the budget gap? No. But I can guarantee there is non-essential spending.

  22. - Aldyth - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 11:16 am:

    You don’t get a new pencil until you turn in the stub of the old one. No more legal pads until you turn in the cardboard back of the last one.

    My agency has had those kinds of rules when the state stopped paying its bills for months at a time so that we could survive. Let’s see what this really means for the state.

    I presume it means no more copper doors for the capitol building.

  23. - Casual Observer - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 11:20 am:

    Anyone who recently signed a contract with the State might want to lawyer up.

  24. - Skeptic - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 11:24 am:

    “Further, GOMB and CMS will review all property owned or leased by the state and develop a strategy for consolidation and relocation of offices.” I do hope they realize that it costs money to move?

  25. - A guy - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 11:24 am:

    Calm down folks. Soon enough non-essential spending will have a definition. You’ve just seen a Governor try to squeeze every ounce of patronage out of his office on the way out. Calling a time-out and asking for a review of contracts as of the date of the fait accompli is not a bad idea at all. Loosen your shorts…it’s a precaution.

  26. - warhed - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 11:24 am:

    dont worry boys….the pain is coming…give him a chance…your gravy train is coming to an end soon enough…i will monitor this board for even more squealing….cant wait!!

  27. - Stuff Happens - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 11:27 am:

    Who does this part affect?

    “All agencies are further ordered, until July 1, 2015, to halt the awarding, entering into, amending or renewing of state contracts and grants. Exceptions are made for contracts required by law, emergency expenditures, small purchases, and essential operations.”

    Is it carried over to only cover the executive branch agencies mentioned in the previous paragraph, or is it every state agency?

    The actual executive order still isn’t on the site.

  28. - lil enchilada - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 11:32 am:

    Do the legislators and their staff still move across the hall according to who is in control? I always wondered what that cost.

  29. - foster brooks - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 11:33 am:

    Just spent $1500 this morning, no one blinked an eye. Lol

  30. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 11:35 am:

    ===Do the legislators and their staff still move across the hall according to who is in control?===

    Not in the House. When MJM won back the majority in 1996, he decided to stay in the Minority Leader’s office suite because it had been remodeled by Lee Daniels and because the Speaker’s office had a lousy heating/AC system.

    Of course, MJM hasn’t lost the majority since then, so we don’t know what a new GOP Speaker would do.

    The Senate Dems switched offices when they last won the majority.

  31. - Tough Guy - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 11:36 am:

    Someone needs to tell them a lot of this stuff is already going on. CMS and the Procurement Policy Board have been reducing office space and implementing energy conservation measures for several years. An update is provided at monthly meetings. As far as surplus, on line auctions are held and agencies have to check surplus before they buy anything. A waiver from Correctional Industries is required too before going to the outside.

  32. - Apocalypse Now - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 11:37 am:

    Nice move by Governor Rauner. Sends a good message, even if it results in small savings. I guess, some on this blog would have liked Rauner to issue and executive order for more spending to help stimulate the economy!

  33. - Six Degrees of Separation - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 11:38 am:

    If the Illiana Expressway is the bar by which highway projects are judged, you’d think that the following projects of lesser benefit and/or higher cost would also get increased scrutiny.
    - The I-66 study, from Kentucky to Missouri thru the Shawnee National Forest, to connect Paducah and Cape Girardeau
    - IL 336, as yet uncompleted from Monmouth to Peoria
    - US 20 from Galena to Freeport, where much has been spent and little accomplished.
    - the IL 53 extension north of Lake Cook Road, which might cost 2 to 3 times the Illiana Expressway over the long haul, even after the tolls are collected.

    There’s lots of stuff on the wish list, and little means to pay for it by current means.

  34. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 11:39 am:

    I just love how the people who spendt this state into total oblivion are whining about any talk of freezing non essential spending. Maybe if the Cullerton and Madigan folks had practiced a little discretion the past 12 years we would not be in this mess.

  35. - Jimmy CrackCorn - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 11:39 am:

    ==“Further, GOMB and CMS will review all property owned or leased by the state and develop a strategy for consolidation and relocation of offices.” I do hope they realize that it costs money to move?==

    Not to mention that lots and lots of those landlords are big time Republican boosters. A legacy of Cellini from the Big Jim/Edgar era.

  36. - Langhorne - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 11:40 am:

    The buildings in the state Capitol complex are operated by the engineers under the sec of state. Does the EO cover another constl officer? Doubt it. Penny ante stuff. Been doing it forever. That’s why there are so many space heaters.

    Halt ALL grants and contracts til july? Better get your appeals process geared up.

  37. - Stones - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 11:42 am:

    I always get a kick out of these types of Executive Orders. You occasionally see the order that says to cut “non-essential spending” but you never see the following Executive Order that allows the restoration of “non-essential spending”.

  38. - Toure's Latte - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 11:44 am:

    If Rauner finally ends Peotone International THAT would be unprecedented. IDOT is sitting on over $100 million of bought land (and Bult Field). Kill the airport kills the Illiana, provides many press releases bashing waste and inefficiency.

    Wonder if the west side DuPage O’Hare access would be on the chopping block. Shared pain anyone?

  39. - D.P.Gumby - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 11:47 am:

    reminds me a zero-based budgeting where the most important things were put at the bottom cuz they would surely not cut those and the least “essential” were put at the top to protect them. Meh!

  40. - vole - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 11:54 am:

    One of the luxuries of being the top dog is never having to explain the meaning of words like “nonessential”.

    I think I recall Quinn stating that under him, all non essential spending was being eliminated. No one ever stuck him with those words although many questioned the truth of them.

    Unfortunately some essential spending is going to fall into this wide net.

  41. - illilnifan - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 12:06 pm:

    Here is the challenge…what is essential to one person is not essential to the other. I agree with all, I would love to know what Rauner defines as “essential”.

  42. - crazybleedingheart - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 12:06 pm:

    Well, I’m learning a lot of weird stuff about vulture capitalism. Never knew that Bruce refused to let the companies he took over enter into any agreements for 6 months.

    Illinois is going to have a really well-educated workforce at the end of 4 years; it’s just like auditing courses at HBS!

  43. - Judgment Day - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 12:11 pm:

    ” Further, GOMB and CMS will review all property owned or leased by the state and develop a strategy for consolidation and relocation of offices.”

    Yeah, right. There’s a good one. Hint: There was an Auditor General report on CMS failure to build a complete index of all state owned property and property the state had an operating interest in.

    The AG report is actually referenced in the Cap Fax archives, and at the time, went back and reviewed it. Brutal. CMS tried to ‘build’ a web browser system for tracking all the properties.

    It turned into a type experience before ever existed - in other words, epic FAIL.

    The state agencies couldn’t build/provide the data because the computer system was poorly built (IMO) because the design was build along the lines of what would be done by a commercial real estate management firm, and not what would be needed for a government.

    If you know your stuff on property inventory & you go into the AG report, it screams out at you what is wrong. A commercial RE database has all sorts of ‘cost acquisition’ data about each property (when, from who, how much, financial, etc., etc.). Most of that doesn’t apply to state owned properties - anybody want to guess when the UI-U/C acquired the underlying ground for State Farm Center (as an example)? Or all the properties that make up what is now Pontiac Correctional Center (good luck with that one - you’ll be living in Livingston County Clerk/Recorder’s office for weeks).

    Believe it or not, there is a difference in property inventory (private sector vrs. government) - and CMS proved it. It took them like 6-7 years to accomplish it, and a lot of money wasted, but they persevered. Never underestimate CMS ability to operate stupid.

    The result is: No database of state owned property. And there’s a law on the books that says CMS has to have such a database. Oh well.

    And here’s the hilarious part (unintentional comedy) - to me, at least. I actually know a really small (tiny 3 person development shop) that built a DDW (Database Driven Website - that’s Latest & Greatest terminology) that is Open Source based that would pretty much do exactly what is required for governmental property inventory. It’s actually a fairly simple Property Inventory system, but it was built from advice from a couple of government retirees having property background (both state and local gov). They really sweated the design, which is what matters when building a system.

    Assuming the state had the hardware already in place, the software would be 1/20th (at most) of what has already been spent. Currently the state doesn’t have ‘Jack’.

    But these guys are techies. They’ve got no way to penetrate the bureaucracy. They just know how to do the work, and get it done correctly.

    There’s no place (an innovation portal type opening) for the small guys to present innovative ideas to the state for handing the types of problems that exist.

    Illinois is so screwed.

  44. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 12:12 pm:

    ==- A guy - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 11:24 am:==

    “Soon enough non-essential spending will have a definition”

    Soon enough is never. We’re still waiting on all of your guy’s detailed plans that he promised to release during the campaign. Steve Schnorf called it “the ‘big lie’ approach” to campaigning. Based on this history, I guess that’s Rauner’s approach to governing as well.

  45. - anon - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 12:13 pm:

    If the would get rid of the duplicate offices and staffs between Chicago and Springfield, it would save some money. When the capitol is in Springfield, why should directors be in Chicago? Why should they get paid travel time between the 2?

  46. - RNUG - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 12:24 pm:

    - Skeptic - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 11:24 am:

    That’s been going on for many years … I know one of the persons who has been doing it.

  47. - Skirmisher - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 12:24 pm:

    This sort of decree has been an opening day standard for incoming Illinois governors for quite a few years now. This just puts Rauner on the same dreary level as Blago and Quinn as far as I am concerned. Disband all of the state agencies entirely and I suspect we would still have a budget meltdown.

  48. - crazybleedingheart - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 12:24 pm:

    You’re right, let’s move the capitol.

  49. - RNUG - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 12:27 pm:

    - Jimmy CrackCorn - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 11:39 am:

    Actually, a lot of GOP era leases were replaced during the Quinn era.

  50. - A guy - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 12:36 pm:

    === Precinct Captain - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 12:12 pm:

    ==- A guy - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 11:24 am:==

    “Soon enough non-essential spending will have a definition”

    Soon enough is never. We’re still waiting on all of your guy’s detailed plans that he promised to release during the campaign. Steve Schnorf called it “the ‘big lie’ approach” to campaigning. Based on this history, I guess that’s Rauner’s approach to governing as well.===

    Just wait and watch PC. You’ll see what he thinks is non-essential. Gotta love your spirit though. At least you’re not more bitter.

  51. - Judgment Day - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 12:47 pm:

    “Further, GOMB and CMS will review all property owned or leased by the state and develop a strategy for consolidation and relocation of offices.

    Finally, the governor ordered all agencies to reduce energy consumption and spending on energy, including reducing heating, air conditioning, and lighting usage when facilities are not in use.”

    The state can do this. We just have to think in an innovative fashion.

    Step 01: First off, locate all the empty distribution/warehouse structures at all interstate traffic exchanges. Yeah, they tend to be a little ‘barren’ in terms of amenities, but hey, it’s a job, right?

    Step 02: Run some power, and some space heaters, and those really big industrial fans/chillers for summer, and we’re golden. Wireless.

    Step 03: Re-pave the parking lots - that’s an employee amenity these days.

    Step 04: Office furnishings? - we got plenty. Just think - we can put all those unused partitions scattered all throughout state government to work. So colors don’t match, or even sizes. Not a necessity.

    A whole lot cheaper than renovating existing state facilities. Just move everybody out and close ‘em up and once we’re back in the money, we’ll do something with them.

    See, there’s an answer for everything….. sorta…


  52. - Jorge - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 12:47 pm:

    Correct as usual, Mr. Cullerton. Spring session is going to be an adventure to say the least.

  53. - Dave - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 12:58 pm:

    Actually, I think it was worded brilliantly. If you were one of the people possibly on the chopping block of employment, would you spend any money? I mean from my angle why would you spend funds on something that could be later determined as nonessential spending and possibly cost you your position?

    I think basically he has slowed spending way down for the time being just by using a vague word. Pretty clever if you ask me.

  54. - crazybleedingheart - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 1:01 pm:

    Incentivizing employees to put their own skins above continuing effective government functions hardly strikes me as “clever” management.

  55. - PublicServant - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 1:03 pm:

    Yeah he’s clever by half. Reality will soon be meeting Rauner and his fellow ideologues. Get ready for the tax increases boys.

  56. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 1:12 pm:

    ==- A guy - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 12:36 pm:==

    He ran for this office for 18 months. Plenty of time to read a budget book and an appropriations act and pick out a single line item.

  57. - Rod - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 1:14 pm:

    First off I have not seen the actual executive order because it is somewhat important to read it and not just the press release. I noted in the release this phrase was used “State of Illinois’ fiscal crisis.” Article VIII of the Illinois Constitution does not grant the authority to the Governor to declare a state of fiscal crisis or emergency, there was a Constitutional amendment proposed to amend this section but it was not enacted.

    Section 2 of Article VIII prohibits the legislature from making appropriations that “exceed funds estimated to be available for the fiscal year as shown in the budget.” It says nothing about the appropriation being insufficient to reach the end of the fiscal year and whether to Governor can order measures to make those funds extend to the end of the year.

    In California the Governor can declare a state of fiscal emergency and present the legislature with a plan for addressing it. The legislature can enact the plan at its determination.

    Section 11 of Article V of the Il Constitution grants powers to the Governor by Executive Order, he may reassign functions among or reorganize executive agencies which are directly responsible to him. If such a reassignment or reorganization would contravene a statute, the Executive Order shall be delivered to the General Assembly.

    Article IX section 9 prohibits departments of State Government from creating formal debt without legislative approval, but not fiscal exhaustion of department budgets.

    The broad executive powers of the Governor under Article V would seem to allow for Governor Rauner to implement some of this executive order depending the details of it, but it does not allow him to base that on any concept of fiscal crisis or emergency.

    In 2003, Rod Blagojevich as part of his budget plan stated the State was in a fiscal crisis and justified budget cuts based on that claim. In January 2003, Blagojevich created an economic team to study the state’s finances, including budget director John Filan, who was a managing partner in a Chicago accounting firm. Blagojevich Ex order #1 of 2003 was a hiring and promotion freeze and went nowhere as far as Rauner’s new order (see )
    Blagojevich Ex order #2 of 2003 froze agencies from motor vehicle acquisition. In neither order 1 nor order 2 was there any formal declaration of an emergency of any type.

    Governor Quinn in 2010 issued order #10 which did say “State of Illinois faces an unprecedented fiscal crisis.” But the General Assembly had passed a bill SB 3660 that stated: “General Assembly hereby finds and declares that the State is confronted with an unprecedented fiscal crisis. It is the purpose of this Act to authorize changes in State programs that are necessary to implement the State fiscal year 2011 budget.”

    Pat Quinn, asserted that Article V of the Constitution of the State of Illinois allowed him to sell surplus property, renegotiate State leases, order reduced energy consumption by the agencies, reduce travel, reduce communication costs by 20%, and other things. But SB 3660 created the framework for that.

    The order authorized Director of GOMB will issue an administrative directive to reflect the reduced appropriation levels provided in the FY 2011 budget and to create contingency reserves, as authorized under the Executive Budget Act of Fiscal Year 2011 (SB3660). Governor Rauner does not have in place a bill similar to SB 3660 and depending on how the actual Rauner order reads he may need such an Act in place.

    It should be noted that in the House and Senate no Republican voted to give Governor Quinn these expanded powers.

  58. - Rod - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 1:42 pm:

    I was just sent a pdf of Ex order 15-08, it asserts that Governor Rauner has the authority to carry out this freeze and apparently a declaration of fiscal crisis based on Section 8 Article V of the Constitution.

    Apparently Governor Rauner’s lawyers believe he does not need a bill similar to the Executive Budget Act of Fiscal Year 2011 (SB 3660). I have no doubt many lawyers are looking at this issue now and are contemplating it.

  59. - steve schnorf - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 1:44 pm:

    I don’t remember calling anything “the big lie”. Could you give me a cite?

  60. - Yatzi - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 1:45 pm:

    I don’t remember the last time the budgets were not frozen or severely limited - and for non-union staff that would mean their salaries also - 2003 was it? We already have an ethics law - why spend $ repeating - can we co me together - more is right about Illinois than wrong

  61. - anon - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 1:46 pm:

    Toure’s Latte, yes, eliminating the plan to build the Peotone airport would be a welcome development. Very inconvenient location for business travelers, more than 1 hour from downtown / The Loop; longer during inclement conditions. Anon at 12:13, agreed. Agency directors, deputy directors and assistant deputy directors don’t need offices and staffs in Chicago; they can perform their jobs in Springfield. Actual travel costs and opportunity costs (lost productivity for travel time between Springfield and Chicago) is significant. Consolidate HFS with DHS. The outgoing HFS director recently published a newsletter about a key (and current) HFS administrator providing a presentation to artists (I believe in Chicago) about medical assistance available to artists? This alludes to an immediate need for a change in “corporate culture” at HFS. How about a presentation of medical assistance for gun shop owners? Do you think there’s a difference politically between artists and gun shop owners…not that one can’t be both…? Much more to this “between the lines” that I won’t state.

  62. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 1:47 pm:

    I would not think that flights in the state aircraft would, in most cases, be essential state spending. I assume the Gov. is going to sell the remaining aircraft and perhaps charter a few essential flights when they come up.

  63. - Michelle Flaherty - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 1:52 pm:

    Pretty sure the Lt. Gov office isn’t essential.

  64. - A guy - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 2:04 pm:

    === steve schnorf - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 1:44 pm:

    I don’t remember calling anything “the big lie”. Could you give me a cite?====

    I’ll wait patiently with you for that.

  65. - RNUG - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 2:05 pm:

    - Michelle Flaherty - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 1:52 pm:

    best comment of the day

  66. - seen the big picture - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 2:07 pm:

    How about we eliminate CMS totally! That is the biggest scam in our state government. How about the vehicle lease program! What a joke! How about we pay bills on time so we dont cause vendors to drop us and force us to use third party vendors to aquire the simplest of goods. And dont forget the IGPS! It takes two weeks and $1000 in labor to purchase a pencil!

  67. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 2:13 pm:


    The Governor can order agencies not to spend money. That is within his authority. Just because there is an appropriation doesn’t mean it has to be spent.

  68. - UIC Guy - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 2:13 pm:

    I would not be surprised if paying the pension obligations were not among the things to be frozen or cut. Yes, you saw it here first: a return to pension ‘holidays’ is coming.

    (But of course only until Rauner magic creates enormous growth, and with it enormous increases in tax revenue, even at lower rates.)

  69. - ZC - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 2:38 pm:

    While I agree with the it’s-all-political-rhetoric crowd, it should be noted briefly that, yes: Rauner’s “Details are coming” ploy was pretty nakedly political. It was always, “Oh we have detailed plans right around the corner … right around the corner …” right up until and through Election Day. He just played that fiddle all the way to the executive mansion.

    Can’t play it for much longer, though.

  70. - Millie K. - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 2:45 pm:

    Move all offices to Springfield, and cut the travel expense. When we drive to and from work no one reimburses us…..Springfield is the capital ….if they really want to get something done they’ll come.

  71. - Rod - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 2:46 pm:

    Demoralized it may be true that the Governor can order a department not to spend appropriated money as long as it stays within that department, but it is less than clear the Governor can base that order on a declaration of fiscal crisis.

    I do realize that SB 3660 gave the Governor other abilities to shift funds, but I can find no basis for Governor Rauner being able to declare a fiscal crisis in an executive order without the consent of the legislature. The concept of a state of fiscal crisis is not a rhetorical concept, but rather a legal one that allows an exemption to legislative control over appropriations and taxes.

    It is possible that both the Speaker and the Senate President might agree with such a legislative proposal and now the Republicans might vote for it. But it seems questionable whether that fiscal authority should be ceded to the Governor without legislative approval.

  72. - Mason born - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 2:54 pm:


    You do realize we have regional offices for a reason right? Would it save the state if inspectors had to drive form SPFLD to Cairo, Chicago, or Rockford? There is a valid point for regional offices which saves the state considerable funds.

  73. - RNUG - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 2:55 pm:

    - UIC Guy - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 2:13 pm: said “I would not be surprised if paying the pension obligations were not among the things to be frozen or cut.”

    Rauner won’t be able to do that by Executive Order; it would require the GA to override the 1995 ramp payment schedule.

  74. - ILPundit - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 2:58 pm:

    Does anyone know where to find a copy of the EO? The normal website hasn’t been updated, and not sure the new team is posting them yet.

  75. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 3:02 pm:

    ==it may be true that the Governor can order a department not to spend appropriated money ==

    There is no “may.” He can do that.

    ==less than clear the Governor can base that order on a declaration of fiscal crisis==

    He can base it on whatever he wants.

    You’re making this far more complicated than it is.

  76. - ArmyMan - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 3:14 pm:

    Demoralized is correct. The Governor can instruct agencies to reserve (not spend) X% of their budget, for example. Just because the GA makes the appropriation, the Governor and the agencies are not obligated to spend that money.

  77. - Rod - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 3:33 pm:

    Demoralized I ask the basis for your position that Governor Rauner can order a freeze on spending based “on whatever he wants.” Why was a constitutional amendment proposed to allow the Governor to declare a state of fiscal emergency and then not enacted? Why did the same issue arise with Gov. Chris Christie in New Jersey.

    New Jersey’s Constitution like our own does not include a “fiscal emergency” provision, unlike California, which added one through a 2005 ballot initiative. But even California’s provision simply empowers the governor to declare a fiscal emergency and order the legislature into special session to address the crisis.

    Demoralized there is such a thing as the rule of law.

  78. - Rod - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 3:39 pm:

    ILPundit my pdf copy of the EO 15-08 came from the Sec of State’s Office and was sent to me. I suspect if will be posted shortly on the Governor’s website.

  79. - Norseman - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 3:43 pm:

    Rod, this isn’t New Jersey - Thank God.

    Demoralized is correct. There is nothing requiring the agencies to spend the money that has been appropriated.

    You ask Demoralized for a law. The burden of proof is on you. What ILLINOIS law do you see that requires the money to be spent in its entirety.

  80. - UIC Guy - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 3:43 pm:

    - RNUG - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 2:55 pm:

    Yes, I was assuming that he would manage to persuade enough members of the GA and Senate to go along. Perhaps I’m unduly pessimistic/cynical? Not so easy to err on that side in this state, though.

  81. - Norseman - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 3:45 pm:

    Rod, P.S. the Executive Order is simply a big PR statement that is meant to show the public that he’s serious.

  82. - Norseman - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 3:50 pm:

    I do find it interesting that the Gov’s Office website was quick to update Quinn’s EO’s, but Rauner’s seems to be a no show.

    Quinn staff sabotage? Rauner fired the staff too quick? Rauner staff don’t know who to call? No Rauner replacement? (If so, I’d be willing to get a contract to help out from home.)

  83. - Norseman - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 4:10 pm:

    Sun Times Headline: “Rauner signs exec order on ethics; says he must immerse office in medical pot issue.”

    Now I know how they’re going to deal with the financial problems. Pot. That makes dealing with anything a little easier.

  84. - anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 4:14 pm:

    What happens to contractors who are doing work on contracts signed since November 1? Will we get paid? And by the way, any contract signed since November 1, in my experience, was in process and under development for months before that. The state contracting/procurement process is not fast (the understatement of the year).

  85. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 4:21 pm:


    The Governor implements the budget. For those agencies over which he has control, if he doesn’t want to spend the money he doesn’t have to. The reason doesn’t matter. Period. End of story. You obviously don’t have an understanding of how the budget process works.

  86. - anonymous - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 4:30 pm:

    Rod - could you share your pdf copy of EO 15-08 that the SOS sent you with capitol fax so they can add a link for those otherwise unable to locate it?

  87. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 4:46 pm:

    Judgment Day, thanks for that post on CMS and the real estate database. I had no idea that was so FUBARed.

    Norseman, AA would be happy to join in with you on a “ferret out waste and fraud from home” deal.

  88. - Norseman - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 4:49 pm:

    AA, I would be honored to join with you on this noteworthy project.

  89. - Rowdy Yates - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 6:27 pm:

    I talked with people in southwest Will County today. They are thrilled that Rauner has temporarily halted the Illiana Expressway until he has had a chance to review it. Farmers in the impacted area are also happy that it won’t be rammed down farmers and Illinois taxpayers throats until it has been further reviewed by Rauner and his administration. The labor union leadership aren’t going to be pleased. Illinois taxpayers will be happy that scarce taxpayer dollars won’t necessarily be spent on questionable projects to appease labor unions and to buy Democrat votes. Perhaps the Illinois version of “A Bridge to Nowhere” has been halted even if it is only temporarily.

  90. - Judgment Day - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 7:03 pm:

    “Judgment Day, thanks for that post on CMS and the real estate database. I had no idea that was so FUBARed.”

    AA, according to the AG report, only one out of all the 4 year state universities (UI-U/C) has anything close to a complete database of their facilities.

    But I know for certain that at least 3 out of those remaining 4 year universities have very detailed records on all of their properties. And I’d bet the remaining universities also have pretty comprehensive property records.

    The problems are three fold:

    01 First off, the data isn’t always digital, and if it is, the data is in software formats like Access, Word, Excel or equivalent. It’s not on a network, or it’s just a department network.

    02 Second, there’s no financial/acquisition history on properties. The State wants that data (because that what was required in the original property inventory software they acquired), but that’s meaningless data to the locals, so it’s just not there as part of the (local) records. Probably exists in a box or file drawer someplace - and anybody who knows where is long gone.

    03 Data formats. OMG, it would be a task worthy of the Gods (several time over) to straighten that whole mess out. And it would take something on the far side of eternity to get it done.

    If I (Warning: Techie talking here) could say to Brucie Raunder & the 4 Tops that there is one law (Actually, Administrative Rule) that needs to be passed immediately - it would be this:

    Effective immediately, all digital mapping/GIS work performed by any State of Illinois agency/department/whatever/contractor is to be accomplished on Open Street Map ( tools.

    If the bureaucracy says it can’t be done, fire them and find somebody who can make it happen. Period. No exceptions.

    We’d save ourselves a ton of money, plus we’d up our game technology wise.

  91. - hopefulforthefuture - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 9:13 pm:

    If you want to see an extreme waste of our tax dollars…you may wish to review the Debacle known as “Offender 360″. This new IDOC program has been in development for several years…cost multi millions of dollars and is still a disaster in motion. it needs to be axed

  92. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Jan 13, 15 @ 10:32 pm:

    JD, I worked at CMS in its infancy. I started trying to gather that data and get it in some automated format in the 80’s.

    Just the “list” of State leases was a green bar 11×14 printout about 6″ thick that we had to carry around and it wasn’t that informative.

    Agencies had almost zero incentive to fill out our (lots of) paperwork as you might imagine. I’m not surprised that UIUC has good records, as they always ran a first-rate capital programs and real estate office. They had more staff than we had at CMS to be sure. It’s disappointing that little progress has been made in 30 years.

    At least we knew where all the cars were and who had them by the end of my time, which was major progress from where we started.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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