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Rauner quietly signs Mendoza’s bill

Tuesday, Jul 31, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Heh…



This was the “off-shoring” bill, which requires the governor to put all of his staff in his office’s budget.

…Adding… Press release…

Gov. Bruce Rauner today signed legislation to bring greater transparency to state government finances, limiting the use of intergovernmental agreements to end the longtime practice of paying employees from one office out of other State agencies’ appropriated funds. At the same time, the Governor called for the provisions of the legislation to be applicable to the offices of all Constitutional officers.

“Transparent governing has been a hallmark of this administration and I support efforts to challenge status quo policies and practices, particularly those that are perceived to undermine the public’s confidence in their government,” Rauner said.

“Unlike previous administrations, we have been transparent in reporting headcount and salaries of all Governor’s Office employees,” Rauner said, “and our administration is spending less on total agency-wide payroll than the previous administration.”

“The same level of transparent accounting ought to apply to all State Constitutional Offices as a necessity for accomplishing their work for taxpayers,” the Governor said urging the General Assembly to extend the truth-in-budgeting principle to the Offices of the Lt. Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, Comptroller, and Treasurer.”

“The taxpayers of Illinois need to know how their money is being spent,” Rauner said. “The state’s constitutional offices have an obligation to be accountable for their spending and this would be a major step toward achieving that goal.”

House Bill 5121 becomes effective upon becoming law, eliminating the use of IGAs with future appropriations enacted. It is anticipated those appropriations will be made in Fiscal Year 2020.

* And…

Comptroller Susana A. Mendoza’s “Truth in Hiring Act,” to bring all “offshored” employees of the Governor’s office back into the Governor’s budget, became law today.

For too long, Illinois governors – Democratic and Republican – have engaged in the deceptive practice of “offshoring” 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.

“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 was still wrong when Governor Rauner did it. But all of that ends today,” Comptroller Mendoza said. “Thank you to the sponsors of this legislation, Representative Christian Mitchell and Senator Andy Manar, and to the lawmakers on both sides of the aisle who voted for it. I’m glad that Governor Rauner recognized the overwhelming bipartisan support behind this bill and signed it into law.”

The Truth in Hiring Act (House Bill 5121) passed unanimously in the Illinois House, and the Senate approved it 46-7. It 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.

“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, D-Bunker Hill, 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.”
A recent payroll analysis shows only 47 of Governor Rauner’s 110 staffers are actually paid from the Governor’s budget. MOST of his staff – 63 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 nearly $10 million, instead of the $4.6 million that is budgeted for the current fiscal year.

“This practice subverts the appropriations process. It takes money away from state agencies that protect children, the environment, and public safety,” Representative Mitchell, D-Chicago, 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.”

HB 5121 goes into effect immediately and will apply to appropriations passed after this date.

In addition to having broad bipartisan support in the legislature, the Truth in Hiring Act also has the backing of newspaper editorial boards across the state.

“Truth in Hiring is pro-transparency legislation that empowers the General Assembly to better its oversight of agency spending,” Quad-City Times editorial board editor Jon Alexander wrote.

“Governors, both Republicans and Democrats, have engaged in this practice – which they call ‘offshoring’ – at least since the days of former Gov. George Ryan. Now is a good time to stop,” the Quincy Herald-Whig editorial board wrote. “A state budget is all about setting priorities. Concealing things from the public shouldn’t be one of them.”

The Truth in Hiring Act 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.

       

27 Comments
  1. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jul 31, 18 @ 5:02 pm:

    Sound of Silence is revealing.


  2. - The Captain - Tuesday, Jul 31, 18 @ 5:02 pm:

    It’s a good bill and overdue but the person who is going to wear the jacket is Pritzker in four years when his opponent is running ads about the massive increase in his office budget.


  3. - Norseman - Tuesday, Jul 31, 18 @ 5:04 pm:

    Someone check to see if he used disappearing ink.

    P.S. Rauner can try to quiet signing, but I suspect his nemesis will blow the horn on this bigly.


  4. - Keyrock - Tuesday, Jul 31, 18 @ 5:05 pm:

    He couldn’t get Rod and Pat to come to the signing ceremony?
    Oh yeah, Rod’s unavailable.


  5. - NIU Grad - Tuesday, Jul 31, 18 @ 5:06 pm:

    I guess expect a few staff members to be “moved” to the offices that they’re on payroll with soon….


  6. - Anon221 - Tuesday, Jul 31, 18 @ 5:19 pm:

    He may have signed it quietly, but will he turnaround and claim “ownership” like he did with the education bill? Team Pritzker needs to get in front of any possible appropriation by Rauner for fightin’ corruption and cronyism.


  7. - BlueDogDem - Tuesday, Jul 31, 18 @ 5:21 pm:

    Fiscal conservative birds of a feather. Rauner and Mendoza.


  8. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jul 31, 18 @ 6:22 pm:

    I hope this means other Constitutional Offices have to do the same with their employees they’ve been requiring agencies to pay for


  9. - efudd - Tuesday, Jul 31, 18 @ 6:48 pm:

    But, but I’m rich. The rules shouldn’t apply to me.


  10. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Jul 31, 18 @ 7:12 pm:

    Probably long overdue. Candidate Rauner who liked shake up and bring back would’ve touted this… now it’s a hollow touting.


  11. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Jul 31, 18 @ 8:08 pm:

    Anon 6:22, what Constitutionals are off-shoring staff to “other agencies?”


  12. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Jul 31, 18 @ 9:41 pm:

    Attorney General has staff at several agencies-Toll Highway chief legal is an Atty General employee, DCFS and IDOR have attorneys “embedded” from AG Office. Could be others, but those are ones I know about.


  13. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Jul 31, 18 @ 9:50 pm:

    Anon, those agreements are for Assistant AGs that represent the Agencies 100% time. That is in no way the same thing as offshoring that occurred in Governor’s Offices over the years as a way to circumvent budgetary and headcount constraints on the Governor.

    Step it up if you’re going to comment here.


  14. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Aug 1, 18 @ 12:40 am:

    When Pat Quinn was “offshored”by Governor Dan Walker, it was called “ghost payrolling.”


  15. - Harvest76 - Wednesday, Aug 1, 18 @ 6:43 am:

    Candidate Rauner may have paid lip service to transparency, but Governor Rauner has done little to back that up. Color me unimpressed by his signing of a veto-proof bill.


  16. - Anon - Wednesday, Aug 1, 18 @ 7:17 am:

    We have one of these employees in our division. Complete joke of a job. He barely shows up and does nothing.


  17. - Eire17 - Wednesday, Aug 1, 18 @ 7:39 am:

    It’s a good bill. But let’s not act as if Rauner invented this or other offices aren’t doing this today. D or R this has gone on a long time.


  18. - Demoralized - Wednesday, Aug 1, 18 @ 7:53 am:

    ==I hope this means other Constitutional Offices have to do the same with their employees they’ve been requiring agencies to pay for==

    I’d love to know who’s doing that since it’s not possible.


  19. - Roadkill - Wednesday, Aug 1, 18 @ 7:56 am:

    Can’t speak to other agencies, but all in house legal counsel at the Tollway are AAG’s. It’s required by statute. I’ve often wondered why that doesn’t come up more when contractual issues with the Tollway are raised.

    I am thrilled this bill is now law, about time this practice stopped.


  20. - Norseman - Wednesday, Aug 1, 18 @ 8:22 am:

    Well said AA.


  21. - Rabid - Wednesday, Aug 1, 18 @ 9:07 am:

    Rauner embraced the status quo, he didn’t know any better


  22. - DeseDemDose - Wednesday, Aug 1, 18 @ 9:14 am:

    Wonder where and What Munger does nowadays?


  23. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Aug 1, 18 @ 9:16 am:

    –“Unlike previous administrations, we have been transparent in reporting headcount and salaries of all Governor’s Office employees,” Rauner said,–

    Shouldn’t this press release list all the personal staff ghosts that Rauner has stashed on agency payrolls?

    Isn’t that the purpose of the exercise?


  24. - Flynn's Mom - Wednesday, Aug 1, 18 @ 9:18 am:

    Is there a complete list of these staff and where their salaries are currently charged? Also, total salary amount?


  25. - flea - Wednesday, Aug 1, 18 @ 9:19 am:

    Good start. Perhaps focus should now shift to patronage plants in various agencies who have jobs but don’t really do anything….


  26. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 1, 18 @ 9:42 am:

    ===“Transparent governing has been a hallmark of this administration and I support efforts to challenge status quo policies and practices, particularly those that are perceived to undermine the public’s confidence in their government,” Rauner said.===

    Tell that to the Quincy Veterans Home residents, and the families of the victims, and the staff who worked and still work there.


  27. - Former State Employee 2 - Wednesday, Aug 1, 18 @ 9:49 am:

    Back in the JRT days, we probably had 30 off-shored employees at DCCA, and that’s 30 I can think of right off the top of my head.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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