Comptroller Mendoza calls for an end to offshoring salaries

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State Capitol (WAND) – Democratic State Comptroller Susana Mendoza wants to end a practice used by Illinois governors to “offshore” or hide salaries in the budgets of other state agencies.

“This bad practice is siphoning money from healthcare, environmental protection, juvenile justice and public safety,” Mendoza said Thursday afternoon at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield.

Governors have used offshoring to make their budgets look smaller.  According to the Comptroller the governor’s office FY18 budget is $4.9 million.  However, by listing those employees as working for other state agencies the governor’s actual budget is $10.4 million with 102 employees, significantly higher than the amount appropriated by state lawmakers.  It is 58 additional staffers and $5.5 million more than his office is otherwise entitled to have.

Mendoza says an education advisor is paid $250,000 out of the budget of the Department of Human Services.  A deputy chief of staff earns $140,000 with the money coming out of the state police budget.

There are two bills, one in each legislative chamber.  Senator Andy Manar, (D) Bunker Hill, is the sponsor in the senate.  Republican David McSweeney, (R) Barrington Hills, is a frequent critic of Governor Bruce Rauner and supports the measures.

“Why not lead by example and say I’m going to cut my own budget?  My real budget.  Not the phony budget.  The real budget by ten percent,” McSweeney stated.

Mendoza says previous governors Pat Quinn, Rod Blagojevich and George Ryan used similar practices to hide the actual cost of salaries in their office.

The bills are House Bill 5121 & Senate Bill 3233.   

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