Rauner Administration Continues to Block Inquiry Into Nearly $4 Million of Taxpayer-Funded Salaries

SPRINGFIELD, IL – 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.

“The governor’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 services  is disrespectful to the people of Illinois who are entitled to an explanation,” said state Rep. John Bradley, chair of the House Revenue and Finance Committee. “The administration’s use of taxpayer dollars does not match the governor’s statements. By not addressing this glaring fact, he is refusing to be accountable to the taxpayers we were elected to serve.”

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. Wednesday’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 Rauner’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 governor’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 administration’s claims are false. Contrary to Rauner administration statements, data from the comptroller’s office shows 35 Rauner appointees receiving a total of $3.7 million from agencies other than the governor’s office – about $730,000 more than the administration previously reported to legislators and over $1 million more than Rauner’s predecessor.

“I’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. That’s why it’s so disappointing to see this governor act as though his use of taxpayer dollars is above examination,” Bradley said. “No 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 state’s use of taxpayer dollars.”

For more information, contact: State Rep. John Bradley at 618-997-9697