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*** UPDATED x1 - Governor’s office responds *** Mendoza bill: “If an employee works in the Governor’s office, they will be paid from the Governor’s payroll”

Thursday, Mar 8, 2018

* Every governor does it, and they probably shouldn’t…

Illinois Comptroller Susana A. Mendoza joined State Senator Andy Manar, D-Bunker Hill, State Representative Christian Mitchell, D-Chicago, State Representative David McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills, and State Representative Greg Harris, D-Chicago, Thursday to introduce the “Truth in Hiring” Act to bring all “offshored” employees of the Governor’s office back into the Governor’s budget.

For too long, Illinois governors – Democratic and Republican – have engaged in the deceptive practice of “offshoring.” The expression comes from the practice of rich people hiding their assets in offshore accounts, in tax havens like the Cayman Islands or Panama, to avoid paying taxes on them.

Illinois governors “offshore” their employees’ salaries to other agencies — for example, paying an education advisor $250,000 from the Department of Human Services; or a deputy chief of staff $140,000 from the Illinois State Police’s budget — to mask the true size of the Governor’s budget.

The most recent payroll shows only 44 of Governor Rauner’s staffers are actually paid from the Governor’s budget. MOST of his staff – 58 people – are hidden in other agency payrolls. If the Governor were honestly reporting all the people working in his office, he would have to disclose his office budget is more than $10 million, instead of the $4.9 million that is budgeted for the current fiscal year.

“That’s more than $5 million being secretly taken away from agencies that need it, like the Department of Children and Family Services that investigates child abuse; or the Department of Aging that cares for Illinois’ seniors,” Comptroller Mendoza said. “This ill-advised practice is silently siphoning money from health care, environmental protection, juvenile justice, economic development and public safety.”

The Truth in Hiring Act, (HB5121; SB3233) simply says that if an employee works in the Governor’s office, they will be paid from the Governor’s payroll. Their salary will be counted in the Governor’s budget. Their salary will not be pulled from agencies that are supposed to protect the most vulnerable or put state troopers on the highways.

“Offshoring is wrong. It was wrong when Governor Quinn did it. It was wrong when Governor Blagojevich did it. It was wrong when Governor Ryan did it. And it’s still wrong when Governor Rauner does it,” Comptroller Mendoza said. “This deceptive practice needs to stop.”

“Every time a governor shifts a new, unexpected six-figure salary onto a state agency’s plate, dollars that had been prioritized for important purposes – economic development, senior services and child protection, to name a few – are being diverted to a paycheck instead,” Senator Manar said. “Governors should understand the importance of being transparent about their expenses. Taxpayers who foot the bill for government, and frankly the lawmakers who determine the appropriations for state agencies, deserve that accountability.”

“This practice subverts the appropriations process. It takes money away from state agencies that protect children, the environment and public safety,” Representative Mitchell said. “This governor, and any future governors, should present the true cost of their staff in their office’s budget and make the case for why they need that level of funding.”

To be clear, this initiative is not intended to criticize employees who have found themselves offshored. In many cases they accepted jobs with the governor’s office not knowing their salaries would be offshored to other agencies.

This initiative follows Comptroller Mendoza’s Debt Transparency Act, which passed last year with unanimous or near-unanimous overrides. The state is already seeing the benefits of that reform as legislators on both sides of the aisle have more up-to-date numbers to craft a budget with and regular citizens have a clearer picture of the state’s finances.

* Accompanying graphic…

Hopefully, the governor won’t fight this idea like he did with the comptroller’s last initiative. She thumped him but good in that Debt Transparency Act battle.

*** UPDATE *** Governor’s office…

Rich,

We’re open to a conversation about changing bookkeeping practices. But, let’s be clear: all state agencies that operate under Governor Rauner are part of the administration and carry out the necessary functions of state government. Unlike previous administrations, we have been transparent and publicly reported employees that work in our office - reflecting that number in our headcount. All salaries are publicly reported. The Rauner administration is spending less on total agency-wide payroll than the previous administration.

Rachel Bold
Press Secretary
Office of Governor Bruce Rauner

- Posted by Rich Miller        

63 Comments
  1. - PJ - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 1:45 pm:

    You know he’ll fight it. He’s too arrogant to do otherwise.


  2. - Real Goes Wrong - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 1:46 pm:

    Where do you hide an elephant? In a herd.

    The reason you can “hide” a $250K hire at DHS is that it is such a bloated mess of an agency to begin with. After you fix this problem, fix that problem.


  3. - RNUG - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 1:46 pm:

    I’ll just add that I KNOW it also occurred under Thompson and Edgar.

    I suspect it occurred under Walker, but I didn’t personally know anyone involved in it.

    This is a good government / transparency bill. Should be a no-brainer to pass … so it probably won’t.


  4. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 1:51 pm:

    Expect Ole Bruce will throw hissy fit over this one.


  5. - Norseman - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 1:52 pm:

    Go Susana Go! I love this bill.


  6. - RJGA - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 1:53 pm:

    Mike Madigan and the Comptroller he controls


  7. - Blue dog dem - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 1:54 pm:

    Fiscal conservatives do this a lot.


  8. - Chicago Cynic - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 1:54 pm:

    I would encourage the governor to fight this like he did with the debt transparency act. Just handing the Ds another bludgeon to use against him.


  9. - Juice - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 1:54 pm:

    RNUG, I believe Pat Quinn was technically an employee of the Illinois Industrial Commission during the Walker years.


  10. - A Jack - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 1:55 pm:

    I think it will get the votes to override even if Rauner vetoes.

    The public wants the transparency that Rauner promised, but didn’t deliver.


  11. - The Captain - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 1:57 pm:

    If it passes this year the Gov will AV it to send it to veto session and get him through the campaign. If it actually becomes law after that it will cream the next Gov who will have to increase his office budget by eleventy billion percent.


  12. - Perrid - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 2:04 pm:

    @The Captain “eleventy billion percent”, or, you know, an increase of 112%. Either one really. ( I joke)
    The Guv really shouldn’t fight this. And if he does I expect another near unanimous override.


  13. - wordslinger - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 2:06 pm:

    –This is a good government / transparency bill. Should be a no-brainer to pass … so it probably won’t.–

    Oh, I think it will fly. Probably veto-proof. Election year.

    Really puts some BTIA(TM) folks in a pickle if it does.


  14. - dbk - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 2:06 pm:

    –She thumped him but good in that Debt Transparency Act battle.–

    It’s A-okay by me if she thumps him again. He deserves to be thumped but good.

    This is a fine proposal, and the graphic makes it crystal-clear what’s been going on.


  15. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 2:06 pm:

    I can see it now. Once this passes a revolving fund gets created to pay for governor’s office services and agencies are billed.


  16. - Deadbeat Conservatives - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 2:12 pm:

    =The reason you can “hide” a $250K hire at DHS is that it is such a bloated mess of an agency to begin with. After you fix this problem, fix that problem.=
    So this is an example of how the governor is “fullfilling” his multiple pledges to eliminate waste to streamline governmentin order to avoid tax increases and pay down debt. As with many deemed to be fiscal conservatives by the Trib and WSJ, the math doesn’t add up.
    It’s also appropriate to include him with other failed governors.


  17. - BehindTheScenes - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 2:19 pm:

    RNUG, Juice, yes it was done under Gov. Walker. The governor’s photographer was on a budget at Corrections.


  18. - Mama - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 2:20 pm:

    ==- The Captain - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 1:57 pm:
    If it passes this year the Gov will AV it to send it to veto session and get him through the campaign. If it actually becomes law after that it will cream the next Gov who will have to increase his office budget by eleventy billion percent.==

    Captain, I disagree. The facts provided by Susana A. Mendoza, IL Comptroller, proves Rauner paid more for his staff than he listed on his budgets.


  19. - Louis G. Atsaves - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 2:20 pm:

    The anti-Rauners of both parties who are sponsoring these bills aren’t going enough. Transparency should include the overstaffed legislature and their hiring of bodies who later take leaves to work on campaigns instead of the jobs they were hired to do. Or in the alternative, trim back on the excess staffers.


  20. - Merica - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 2:20 pm:

    Of course this makes sense, and it’s the way it should be done. But in fairness, this practice of placing staff at other agencies has been used by EVERY governor for the past 40+ years. The Gov’s office, no matter what party, needs a staff of more than 40 people. 100 is probably the correct number. Let’s make sure we have an effective Executive Branch. Democracy depends on it.


  21. - Almost the Weekend - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 2:22 pm:

    Rich,

    Good time to ask what dem candidates think of this bill. And see if they do as they say next year if they are in charge.


  22. - Arthur Andersen - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 2:23 pm:

    RNUG, it did, and I do. Darn, I’m getting old. Juice, I believe you are right. One distinction, which may not be a difference, is that back in the Thompson/Edgar days we didn’t have senior staff off-shored because it was so obvious.

    Agree with everyone else. It’s overdue, and Rauner won’t like it.


  23. - Rutro - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 2:24 pm:

    They all work for Ms. Rauner, ….on messaging.


  24. - Old Hard R - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 2:24 pm:

    Louis G - great point spot on. Anytime you have Mendoza and McSweeney agreeing on anything it’s pure polical gamenship


  25. - Montrose - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 2:28 pm:

    Mendoza is doing a great job getting her resume together for her own run. More power to her.


  26. - Gone, but not forgotten - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 2:29 pm:

    They also “offshore” within agencies, i.e., employee working in Bureau of Materials, getting paid from Bureau of Maintenance in IDOT. There are also instances within IDOT where an employee of a District is working in a different District, but getting paid from the original District. It seems to be quite a shell game for everyone’s budgets.


  27. - RNUG - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 2:31 pm:

    == I can see it now. Once this passes a revolving fund gets created to pay for governor’s office services and agencies are billed. ==

    LOL. Did you used to work at CMS also?


  28. - Langhorne - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 2:36 pm:

    === not fight it===
    ha, ha, ha.


  29. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 2:36 pm:

    ==Transparency should include the overstaffed legislature and their hiring of bodies who later take leaves to work on campaigns instead of the jobs they were hired to do. Or in the alternative, trim back on the excess staffers. ==

    Overstaffed? Those folks never rest. The practice of shifting legislative staff to campaigns saves the taxpayers money. Most staff is needed only during the Spring session; what would you do with them July-December? If you lay them off, you have no staff next session. This system keeps them employed year-round and shifts them off of the public payroll when they are not needed.

    The legislature would be overstaffed if we had to keep them on the payroll year round.


  30. - Anon221 - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 2:37 pm:

    Rauner ran on and is running on pledges to be transparent and cut WFA (waste, fraud, and abuse). This bill should be a “home run” for him, but I agree with The Captain, Rauner will find some way to AV it. Hopefully there will be large Yeas in both Chambers to override.


  31. - Trapped in them ‘burbs - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 2:40 pm:

    He’ll veto it. They’ll override it and he’ll cut a commercial taking credit for the bill. He is dispicable.


  32. - hisgirlfriday - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 2:41 pm:

    Good bill. Good politics.

    And once again I am bummed Mendoza is not the one at the top of the ticket this fall.


  33. - Stand Tall - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 2:43 pm:

    It was all fine and dandy when she was a legislator to vote for budgets using phony numbers. In fact the last budget that was passed used phony numbers as well as they said it was balanced and that was proven wrong before the ink dried. I don’t see her calling out the Speaker or Senate President.


  34. - Sugar Corn - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 2:45 pm:

    Good idea overall. BUT senior staff of the state agencies are, for all purposes, agents of the Governor. As they should be.

    So when Governors detail agency staff to their office for a time - is that wrong? Should it be penalized?

    Example: Future Governor Mendoza wants an “ag expert” to work in her office - is it inappropriate pay that person from the Dept of Agriculture’s budget? No.

    Seems there are some bad, fuzzy areas in the personnel world that this law could clarify. So it is a smart, worthy effort that deserves support.


  35. - DBC - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 2:55 pm:

    =this practice of placing staff at other agencies has been used by EVERY governor for the past 40+ years.=

    Did EVERY governor pledge that he could reduces taxes and pay off the debt by reducing the “wasteful” bureaucracy?


  36. - Just Me - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 2:58 pm:

    I was surprised it is only 102.


  37. - Soccermom - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 2:59 pm:

    This is such smart framing — makes it clear that the Governor is secretly sweeping millions from the agencies to pad his staff.


  38. - Mama - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 2:59 pm:

    Rich, is Susana A. Mendoza, Illinois Comptroller, running for re-election in 2018? Thanks


  39. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 3:02 pm:

    —Rich, is Susana A. Mendoza, Illinois Comptroller, running for re-election in 2018? Thanks—

    This link should be helpful in finding answers to a lot of things

    Www.google.com


  40. - Old Hard R - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 3:02 pm:

    Sugar Corn - let’s not get ahead of ourselves with the future governor Mendoza. Read Kass today her path to victory might not be that easy. And she won’t have a candidate like Munger running against her. So I would slow that train down just a tad or so…


  41. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 3:03 pm:

    ===I don’t see her calling out the Speaker or Senate President. ===

    Oh, jeez. Stop whining.


  42. - RNUG - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 3:12 pm:

    == Example: Future Governor Mendoza wants an “ag expert” to work in her office - is it inappropriate pay that person from the Dept of Agriculture’s budget? No. ==

    I would say it depends. If it was just a temporary assignment, then keep them on the agency. But if it is going to run a year or more, put them on the gov office budget.


  43. - Keyser Soze - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 3:36 pm:

    Can anyone name the last Governor who didn’t do the same thing?


  44. - walker - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 3:40 pm:

    The issue is not transparency — these moves are well known among those who care. It’s a separation of powers issue, about the extent to which departmental appropriations bills bind the hands of the Executive. Similar to the funds sweep issues.

    Relative powers within the Executive branch on authorizing payments, is an easier issue to resolve. On what basis can the Comptroller refuse to pay?


  45. - Mama - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 3:41 pm:

    - Anonymous, I did google “Susana A. Mendoza, Illinois Comptroller”, but I did not find the answer to the 2018 re-election question. That is why I posted the question here.


  46. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 3:44 pm:

    “Relative powers within the Executive branch on authorizing payments, is an easier issue to resolve. On what basis can the Comptroller refuse to pay?”

    Accounting laws?


  47. - Norseman - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 3:51 pm:

    Mama - the State Board of Elections has info on candidates.

    http://bit.ly/2IeiSqy


  48. - Arsenal - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 4:14 pm:

    Her point about this stymieing appropriations bills is a good one. This is a worthy bill.


  49. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 5:17 pm:

    This is a good bill, I know there are people with disabilities seeking services through DHS that could certainly put those dollars to good use, instead of paying for the Governor’s staff. Just saying.


  50. - wordslinger - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 5:24 pm:

    –We’re open to a conversation about changing bookkeeping practices.–

    Geez, if “open to a conversation” was a drinking game with this crew, we’d all be in Betty Ford.


  51. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 6:12 pm:

    They are mean and mean, except when they created high-paying jobs for Munger and 30 of her cronies.


  52. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 6:12 pm:

    Lean and mean oops.


  53. - Arthur Andersen - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 6:56 pm:

    word, someone clever needs to draw up a bingo card/drinking game for all the Raunerbot phrases. Turnaround Agenda would have to go in the free space, while BTIA(tm) and other gems like Right to Work zones would fill in the other spots.

    To the Post, if one wanted to fix the offshoring issue across the board, as some of us have joked about, the cars, computers, phones, and leftovers that have historically been charged off to CMS Revolving Funds should be put in the Governor’s budget as well.


  54. - wordslinger - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 7:03 pm:

    –To the Post, if one wanted to fix the offshoring issue across the board, as some of us have joked about, the cars, computers, phones, and leftovers that have historically been charged off to CMS Revolving Funds should be put in the Governor’s budget as well.–

    That’s another nut to crack, isn’t it?


  55. - My New Handle - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 8:08 pm:

    Maybe I’ll repost, if appropriate, tomorrow, and I have not read this bill. Would or should or could this be broadened to any governmental position (paid or per diem) appointed or hired by a governor?


  56. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 8:21 pm:

    You don’t really need to put the revolving funds in the governors office. Preventing cms, and now doit, from billing 20% up charges to the agencies would do the trick.


  57. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 8:24 pm:

    Is the Rauner administration open to a conversation on creating make-work positions for former comptroller employees?


  58. - justacitizen - Thursday, Mar 8, 18 @ 10:40 pm:

    Why is this bill only targeting the governor’s office? Any agency that has ghost payroll paid by someone else should be included in this bill. I think this happens in other agencies (e.g., I believe the attorney general’s office have attorneys paid by the Dept. of Revenue under the logic they are doing tax enforcement work.)


  59. - Blue Dog Dem - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 3:20 am:

    Of the 102 staffers, I wonder how many actually are needed.


  60. - Anon - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 7:11 am:

    Finally as this is ridiculous.

    I work in one of the smaller agencies and we have at least 5 people in management who do nothing for our agency and literally nobody knows what they do.

    The worst part is the govenor put a headcount freeze on all agencies. So he puts these employees in who literally do nothing for the agency so they can’t hire anyone else because of the headcount.

    This ultimately leads to the actual workers being bombarded due to the lack of help.

    Rauner is way worse doing this than any govenor I’ve ever seen. He does it in plain sight but nobody is looking because he is too busy distracting everyone with Madigan stuff.


  61. - DeseDemDose - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 8:48 am:

    Wonder what wingman Munger is working on these days?


  62. - wordslinger - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 8:58 am:

    –The most recent payroll shows only 44 of Governor Rauner’s staffers are actually paid from the Governor’s budget. MOST of his staff – 58 people – are hidden in other agency payrolls. If the Governor were honestly reporting all the people working in his office, he would have to disclose his office budget is more than $10 million, instead of the $4.9 million that is budgeted for the current fiscal year.–

    Those are big numbers. A personal staff of 102 at more than $10 million? Dude is high maintenance.


  63. - Thomas Paine - Friday, Mar 9, 18 @ 9:42 am:

    @Anon 7:11

    Which agency?


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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