SPRINGFIELD, IL â€“ With the Governorâ€™s budget address set for next week, Illinois Lt. Governor Sheila Simon announced that she is voluntarily requesting a 3 percent cut in her fiscal year 2014 budget. Simon, who voluntarily cut the current fiscal yearâ€™s budget request by 9 percent, will achieve savings by reducing personnel and administrative costs.
â€œIllinoisans are doing more with less, and state leaders need to do the same,â€ Simon said. â€œOver the past two years, Iâ€™ve cut my own pay and reduced the office budget by more than $250,000. We can all do our part to preserve funding for vital services such as education and public safety.â€
For the second consecutive year, Simon is reducing her officeâ€™s headcount to achieve savings. She will continue to return one day of pay per month to the state and require her senior staff members to take four furlough days within the year. She is also eliminating her grant-making authority, which will save taxpayers up to $50,000 a year and brings her total cut to 5 percent in fiscal year 2014.
Simonâ€™s office will continue to purchase equipment through Central Management Services (CMS) master contracts, which offer discounted prices on office supplies. Though constitutional offices are not required to follow CMS master contracts, Simon instituted the policy after her inauguration in 2011 to save taxpayer dollars. Printing and equipment expenses are also being reduced.
Despite cutting her office budget by 12 percent since fiscal year 2012, Simon continues to be a state leader in education and ethics reform. She recently released a report on game changing practices that will make college more affordable for students, and helped draft legislation that would create the strongest financial disclosure law for public servants in 40 years. Simon also chairs the Governorâ€™s Rural Affairs Council, key river and military base committees and advocates for domestic and sexual violence prevention.
Lt. Governor Simon submitted the reduced fiscal year 2014 spending plan to Governor Pat Quinn in advance of his March 6 budget address. Simon is making the lowest appropriation request for the Office of the Lt. Governor since at least 1992.