CHICAGO – As part of his ongoing budget review, Governor Pat Quinn today directed state agencies to cut 80 paid parking spaces for state employees in downtown garages – more than 30 percent of the total spots reserved. The move will save taxpayers more than $100,000 annually and follows yesterday’s announcement that the state will save taxpayers an additional $55 million this year in reduced lease costs for state buildings. The cuts are part of Governor Quinn’s agenda to make state government efficient and accountable to taxpayers.
“As part of my budget review this year, we will reduce paid parking spaces in downtown Chicago by more than 30 percent,” Governor Quinn said. “By eliminating these parking spots for many state officials, we will save taxpayers another $100,000 annually and continue our work to make state government more efficient than ever before.”
Governor Quinn has directed department heads to cut back on spots for employees in positions that do not require frequent fieldwork or involve public safety. While taxpayer-financed parking spots are appropriate for state employees whose posts require them to travel frequently to state prisons, juvenile detention centers or social service offices, they are not necessary for employees who spend the majority of their time in the office.
Unless their job involves frequent fieldwork or public safety, most agency directors, chiefs of staff and other high-level officials will now lose their free parking spots. Today’s announcement also includes a reduction in the number of shared “pool” cars that are stationed in downtown Chicago garages and available to state employees.
Yesterday Governor Quinn announced that the state of Illinois had again cut property leases. The state will save an additional $55 million by continuing to downsize the space it leases in the upcoming fiscal year. Since taking office the Governor has saved taxpayers more than $220 million by consolidating or eliminating more than 2.5 million square feet – roughly equivalent to emptying out Chicago’s Trump Tower.
Since taking office and inheriting decades of mismanagement, Governor Quinn has enacted major reforms that are saving taxpayers billions of dollars. The Governor has saved taxpayers more than $3 billion by overhauling Illinois’ Medicaid system, cutting Medicaid spending and rooting out waste, fraud and abuse. He also passed comprehensive pension reform that will save taxpayers more than $140 billion over the next 30 years.
Additionally, the Governor negotiated a historic contract with Illinois’ employee unions that includes $900 million in savings for Illinois taxpayers. The Governor also enacted comprehensive worker’s compensation reform that has saved state taxpayers more than $40 million to date. The state workforce is the smallest it has been in decades, with 4,000 fewer state employees than we had five years ago. All things included, over the last five years, Governor Quinn has cut state spending by more than $5.7 billion.
To build on this progress, Governor Quinn is proposing a five-year blueprint to secure the state’s finances for the long-term and invest like never before in education and early childhood. The blueprint includes a historic $6 billion increase in classroom spending over the next five years, doubling the investment in college scholarships for students in need and increasing access to higher education through dual enrollment and early college programs. The Governor’s plan was lauded by all three bond-rating agencies for its comprehensive approach to paying down bills, stabilizing the state’s finances and enacting spending restraints.
For more information on Governor’s Quinn’s budget cuts please click HERE.