For Second Straight Week, Rauner Administration Refuses
to Attend Hearing on Misleading Claims about Staff Pay
Rep. John Bradley informed the public that this is the second consecutive week, officials from Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration refused to appear at a hearing to address misleading information provided by the governor’s office, despite evidence showing the administration is paying high salaries to more than 30 appointees from funds intended for core state services. They have chosen not to consider any form of cooperation unless they yield to Rauner’s reforms proposal. Rauner thinks that’s how you play hardball. Well what did the people expect from a corporate raider who knows how to do business one way. Did the people fall for his smiling face? Well obviously smiling faces tell lies.
“While we have repeatedly urged the governor to provide taxpayers with a full and accurate account of how he is using their money, it would appear to be the stance of this administration that the people of Illinois have no right to know,” said state Rep. John Bradley, chairman of the House Revenue and Finance Committee, which called the hearing. “The governor took office on lofty promises of openness and a new way of doing business, but he continues to show his commitment is to business as usual.”
Administration officials again refused to appear before a House committee examining why the administration’s claims differ from data from the comptroller’s office, which shows 35 of the governor’s appointees receiving a total of $3.7 million from agencies other than the governor’s office.That amount is about $730,000 more than what the administration previously reported to legislators. The administration also excluded the salaries of three of the governor’s highest-paid appointees, whose salaries total $658,000.
Last month, top administration officials defended Rauner’s decision to pay his education czar a $250,000 salary with funds from the Department of Human Services intended for programs serving the elderly and severely ill rather than with funds from the governor’s office budget, a practice known as offshoring. That hearing led to a request from lawmakers to receive more information on salaries in the governor’s office.
While administration officials said Rauner is engaged in less offshoring than his predecessor, payroll records from the comptroller’s office show theRauner administration’s claims are false.
A letter from Bradley delivered to the governor’s Capitol office last week and subsequent calls asking the governor or his designee to attend Tuesday’s hearing into Rauner’s offshoring practices went unanswered until just before Tuesday’s hearing began, and neither the governor nor any member of his administration attended the hearing to answer legislators’ questions.
“Taxpayers deserve to know why this governor is using funds intended to serve the elderly, the disabled and children to pay his appointees’ salaries. They also deserve to know why the governor refuses to provide them with answers,” Bradley said. “These questions do not go away simply because the governor does not feel like answering. We will continue to demand honest and accurate accounting of this administration’s use of taxpayer dollars.”
State employees offshored by Rauner are receiving salaries from a number of agencies facing severe cuts under the governor’s proposed budget, including the Department of Human Services, the Department of Public Health and the Department on Aging, Bradley told committee members.