Rep. Harper Joins Effort to Force Rauner Practice Fiscal Responsibility

CHICAGO, IL – To bring forth greater government transparency, state Rep. Sonya Harper, D-Chicago, is joining the effort to force Gov. Rauner to pay for his employees out of the governor’s office budget and stop creating false illusions about saving taxpayer dollars.

“Our governor is not interested in promoting good government practices that essentially force human services agencies to pay for the hundreds of employees his office should be paying for,” said Harper. “He is stealing precious state resources from agencies that help my residents access vital services so he can hide his office’s costs while paying huge salaries to his staff.”

Harper is standing with Illinois Comptroller Suzanna Mendoza in promoting House Bill 5121, the Truth in Hiring Act. The bill requires employees of the governor to be paid from that budget instead of taking state agency funding away to pay for those employees. Previous Democratic and Republican governors have used this tactic to “offshore” their costs onto state agencies to mask the expenditures from the governor’s allotted budget.

According to the Comptroller’s office, the governor’s office employs 102 individuals totaling $10.4 million in salary expenses, but $5.5 million or 58 staffers’ salaries have been siphoned away from agencies like the Department of Children and Family Services and the Department of Aging to cover those employees’ salaries. Harper’s bill would shift the cost burden back to the governor’s office so that any governor will be required to fully cover the costs of its own employees.

“This should be a bipartisan effort so we can all tell our constituents that we are looking out for their tax dollars,” said Harper. “We need to be sensible in how we spend this money, and taking state funds from family building agencies to pay six figure salaries for a few employees is unacceptable and wrong.”

Harper represents the 6th District, which includes all or portions of Armour Square, Bridgeport, Chicago Lawn, Englewood, Gage Park, Back of the Yards, Canaryville, New City, West Englewood, and Marquette Park.