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Question of the day

Thursday, Feb 20, 2020

* Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady on Jak Tichenor’s program yesterday…

We think the governor was wise a while ago to ask for his agencies to look at six and a half percent adjustments in their budgets, efficiencies, that would provide hundreds of millions of dollars without touching healthcare or education or pension payments. […]

We’d like to see what his agencies came up with. […]

If you take the other agencies and if you take six and a half percent efficiencies, as he ordered, there could be over $800 million. Couple that with [$650 million] in natural revenue growth, that gives you a billion and a half dollars to reinvest in education, DCFS, make the pension payment.

He later said the $800 million figure excluded education, healthcare and pension cuts.

* Gov. Pritzker was asked last week about his order to state agencies to game out 6.5 percent cuts…

Part of the purpose of that memo, Hannah, was to make sure that we were surfacing the opportunities to make government more efficient. So we really forced the agency heads to think hard about what would you do in the event that we needed to make significant cuts.

There were many things that were recommended from each of the agencies. We chose from those things, the things that we thought were would not deteriorate the services that people get for our state, but that would make sure that we’re operating more efficiently. So that was really the purpose of that exercise. […]

Reporter: Will there have to be deeper cuts in other areas to balance the budget in 21 and increase spending in other areas… ?

Pritzker: Well, let’s start with the situation that I walked into when I became governor. The agencies of state government had been significantly hollowed out. And if you would talk to our state agency directors, they would tell you that they walked into situations where sometimes the basic functions of government required by law weren’t being performed, because of the hollowing out that has occurred. So, we’re in the process here of making government more efficient and effective with the dollars that we have, and making sure that we’re restoring services that people deserve.

* The Question: Should the governor’s office release the document containing the 6.5 percent agency spending reductions exercise? Make sure to explain your answer, please. Thanks.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

16 Comments
  1. - JB13 - Thursday, Feb 20, 20 @ 3:56 pm:

    Yes. Illinois deserves to see what 6.5% cuts look like in real life - especially since we’re constantly told there’s nothing left to cut.


  2. - frsutrated GOP - Thursday, Feb 20, 20 @ 3:58 pm:

    not only should we see how bad the cuts would be, but we should also see what isn’t bine done as required by law. Let’s see what we haven’t done, I am guessing for some time.


  3. - Blue Dog Dem - Thursday, Feb 20, 20 @ 3:59 pm:

    If he doesn’t, I wil FOIA it.


  4. - Thomas Paine - Thursday, Feb 20, 20 @ 4:03 pm:

    Yes.

    Politically, he has no choice.

    Democrats ought to want to see that document as well.


  5. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Feb 20, 20 @ 4:04 pm:

    ===I wil FOIA it===

    If it wasn’t exempt from FOIA you mean, right? Because if this is subject to release under FOIA, I’m pretty sure Brady would have his info by now.

    And even if the Governor released it, I have a hard time seeing Brady put any votes on most of these cuts. Nobody is stopping Brady from putting forward his own cost-cutting plans either.


  6. - SAP - Thursday, Feb 20, 20 @ 4:04 pm:

    Yes. I’m sure we’d all like to be 6.5% more efficient, but it doesn’t usually work that way. Cutting 6.5% from agency budgets has consequences and you cannot make an educated decision without that information.


  7. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 20, 20 @ 4:05 pm:

    === Should the governor’s office release the document containing the 6.5 percent agency spending reductions exercise?===

    Yes, but with a caveat.

    If Leaders Brady and Durkin agree that these are the “cuts” needed.

    Why show his own cuts if the only cuts the Leaders see are “waste, fraud, and abuse”

    Not a single GOP member has been willing to say “cut here at this level”.

    So, they want that right to ding…

    And while “Governors own”, and it’s a governor’s budget that weighs and measures, if the leaders are so concerned, or think there’s more to cut, be very prepared to explain, with numbers too.


  8. - Leatherneck - Thursday, Feb 20, 20 @ 4:26 pm:

    Yes.

    And will the 6.5% also include the constitutional officers’ budgets, or just the Governor’s/CMS agencies?


  9. - Jocko - Thursday, Feb 20, 20 @ 4:31 pm:

    Like OW said, get bipartisan approval first, then release the cuts.

    The Raunerites should stay mum on the subject, given that their dear leader, despite talk of ‘W, F, & A’, never put his (considerable) money where his mouth was.


  10. - Southern - Thursday, Feb 20, 20 @ 4:37 pm:

    I don’t think you can have a real conversation about waste in some of these state agencies without talking about the money they are forced to send to DoIT and CMS for “services”. Perhaps the procurement records of every state agency should be reviewed. Can’t imagine any waste, fraud, or abuse there /s


  11. - City Zen - Thursday, Feb 20, 20 @ 4:43 pm:

    Yes. Then all the recommendations go into one pile and prioritized against one another.


  12. - Jibba - Thursday, Feb 20, 20 @ 4:56 pm:

    Yes because we all need to know what is to be cut and how things will be made more “efficient”. Sadly, this exercise is frightening to the rank and file who are just pawns in the game.


  13. - JS Mill - Thursday, Feb 20, 20 @ 6:24 pm:

    Sure I would be interested to see what they came up with.

    At the same time, the ILGOP needs to release their equally specific plan. The gotcha crud is old and played out.

    I would be good with OW’s suggestion as an alternative. Bi- partisan as it gets.


  14. - Anyone Remember - Thursday, Feb 20, 20 @ 6:25 pm:

    No. First, only applies to Governor’s Agencies. Not the Universities, Constitutionals, the Judicial Branch, and the Legislative Branch. Second, this work started in September, very early in the fiscal year, requiring projections based upon projections. Like building a balsa wood house on sand and mud. Third, as a former budget person, if I had known my “fire drills” were FOIA accessible, everything would be across the board cuts instead of real analysis. Seriously, if we’re going to make things publicly available, I’d rather require legislators disclose ALL cell phones they use … .


  15. - Perrid - Thursday, Feb 20, 20 @ 6:34 pm:

    With some kind of annotations explaining what the cut would mean, yes. I really, truly doubt most agencies could fulfill their mandates with 6.5% less. I don’t just want some numbers released, that would be near irresponsible.


  16. - Six Degrees of Separation - Thursday, Feb 20, 20 @ 6:53 pm:

    To some agencies, 6.5 might be relatively easy to achieve, if their missions were put in “deferred maintenance” mode. Transportation could cut back any “expansion” projects and concentrate on holding everything together with patching and replacing worst parts. IDOC could release 6% of inmates early and hope for the best. IDNR could defer maintenance at state parks and slow walk permits with a reduced staff. It could be done, but I’m not sure people would like the results.


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