With Governor Quinn's budget address on the horizon and the state deficit estimated at $11 billion (pdf file-allow time for download), one would think that the state would tighten its belt and rid itself of wasteful spending. However, as a study published by the Illinois Policy Institute and Citizens against Government Waste on February 9th shows, $350 million could have been saved in the Fiscal Year 2010 budget by cutting out "porky spending". See <<here>> (pdf file - allow time for download) for the entire study.
As highlighted by the study, here are a few examples of the wasteful spending the Illinois government is engaging in during this fiscal year:
- $17,691, 700 for "employability development" with no criteria for program eligibility or means of measuring the success of such problems.
- Hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars were spent on conservancy projects including $104, 271 for the Nature Conservancy, an organization that has $4.6 billion in assets and would be able to fund themselves.
- Tens of millions of dollars have been spent on horse racing tracks including nearly $24 million for the Arlington International Race Course.
- Various private sector transportation companies are receiving taxpayer dollars. Among these disbursements are a $28 million subsidy for Amtrak, more than $1 million for Boeing, and more than $33 million dollars to the Regional Transport Authority (which oversees the Chicago Transit Authority, Metra, and suburban bus services) to subsidize reduced fares.
- 2.38 million dollars of state monies were given to the Illinois AFL-CIO and its outreach program. The AFL-CIO is a federation of national and international labor unions.