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Public Statements

Issue Position: Illinois 2011 Budget

Issue Position

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1. No Growth Budgeting. Budgets that allow for inflation based growth don't recognize the fact that there is decades of pork and excess built into our state budget. While I recognize the limit on appropriations growth should be inflation plus population, we have years of shrinking government before we should be talking about spending growth.

2. Pension Reform. The state must pay its pension obligation to rank and file pensioners. But no one deserves a pension higher than what they earned before retirement. We must end early retirement initiatives and incentives. And we must implement a Section 457 defined contribution plan for all new hires.

3. Reduce added costs associated with Bond debt. Only quick and decisive action on reduction of the size of Illinois government will have a permanent effect on our bond ratings. I want to end the practice of paying for past and current appropriations with money borrowed from our grandchildren. It is time to pay for what we buy in the year that we buy it.

4. Both Broad and Specific Budget Cuts. The first thing to do is to cut unnecessary government spending. We need to cut management and unneeded bureaucracy. Also we must get rid of political appointees of previous administrations. And we make sure outside contracts, such as telecommunication, legal and advertising services, are competitive with in-house staff or eliminate them.

5. Deep cuts in Agencies and Grants. Review each grant to determine where cuts should be made and to ensure that programs are necessary and as efficient as possible. Review the mission of each agency, scale them back to only necessary operations, Where ever possible we need to consolidate agencies or eliminate the agency found to be unnecessary. We must eliminate all Foreign Trade offices.

6. Reduce Medicaid fraud and look to sunset Illinois participation. Illinois cannot continue to participate in Medicaid. Although humanitarian in its benefits, the program will bankrupt the state within the next 15 years. We have to face facts, and that means ending a program that threatens to consume all of the productivity gains we expect to see in coming years.

7. Use Zero based budget justification. Every year each agency needs to re-evaluated its mission and re-budget by eliminating unnecessary programs and looking to streamline necessary operations.

8. Issue Additional Casino Licenses. There is no reason to limit casino licenses, except to respect the wishes of individual counties. While we re-prioritize our budgets, we can continue to collect revenue from casinos. But we have no reason to be in the Lottery business. I propose to sell the lottery to the highest bidder.


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