SPRINGFIELD, IL â€“ In another snub to Illinois taxpayers, Gov. Bruce Rauner and his administration on Wednesday again refused to appear before a House committee to answer questions about nearly $4 million diverted from critical state programs to pay Rauner staff and appointees.
â€œThe governorâ€™s refusal to permit his office to participate in a public conversation about his use of millions in taxpayer dollars at a time he is calling for damaging cuts to state servicesÂ is disrespectful to the people of Illinois who are entitled to an explanation,â€ said state Rep. John Bradley, chair of the House Revenue and Finance Committee. â€œThe administrationâ€™s use of taxpayer dollars does not match the governorâ€™s statements. By not addressing this glaring fact, he is refusing to be accountable to the taxpayers we were elected to serve.â€
Rauner and his administration have ignored four official requests from Bradley and numerous follow-up calls in the last month asking the governor or his designee to appear before the Revenue and Finance Committee to answer questions about nearly $4 million in taxpayer-funded salaries paid to top Rauner staff and appointees from the budgets of other state agencies. Wednesdayâ€™s hearing marked the eighth time since June that Rauner or administration officials have failed to provide information to the public on a number of issues, including how state agencies plan to continue providing services during a government shutdown.
Last month, top administration officials defended Raunerâ€™s decision to pay his education czar a $250,000 salary with Department of Human Services funds intended for programs serving the elderly and severely ill, rather than with funds from the governorâ€™s office budget. This practice is known as offshoring.
While administration officials said Rauner is offshoring fewer salaries than his predecessor, payroll records show the Rauner administrationâ€™s claims are false. Contrary to Rauner administration statements, data from the comptrollerâ€™s office shows 35 Rauner appointees receiving a total of $3.7 million from agencies other than the governorâ€™s office â€“ about $730,000 more than the administration previously reported to legislators and over $1 million more than Raunerâ€™s predecessor.
â€œIâ€™ve worked to help make sure the Revenue and Finance Committee functions in a bipartisan manner, because scrutinizing the use of every dollar is something Democrats and Republicans agree is necessary. Thatâ€™s why itâ€™s so disappointing to see this governor act as though his use of taxpayer dollars is above examination,â€ Bradley said. â€œNo member of this House would have tolerated the previous administration to ignore repeated requests to provide answers on issues concerning taxpayer dollars the way this administration has. I will continue to demand open and honest accounting of this stateâ€™s use of taxpayer dollars.â€
For more information, contact: State Rep. John Bradley at 618-997-9697