One significant problem in Illinois today is that we are not spending our tax dollars as wisely as we should. I believe that we must assure the taxpayers that we are making every effort to bring as many efficiencies to government as possible. To that end, I have and will continue to propose the following Government efficiencies:
- I support the Rauner Administrations efforts to convert the Medicaid Program to managed care. They have estimated that savings could be attained of $500 million to $1 billon. In addition, we need to more frequently check eligibility. The Civic Federation has estimated savings in the range of $135 million.
- Full budgetary review of University structure and Administrative spending. As the SIU Carbondale Chancellor has point out, Administrative positions have increased by 26% while enrollment has declined. For example, The University of Illinois System under Kennedy’s Leadership increased its budget to over $60 million per year for Central Administration. These functions mirror those of each campus. Why the need for such excessive duplication?
- Consolidate and streamline units of Government – According to the Civic Federation, Illinois has the highest number of local government units in any state., over 6,963. All seek staff and spending authority and many duplicate efforts inefficiently. The high number of government units primarily funded by Property taxes is often cited for high property taxes and hurt the business climate. Nearly 25% of Illinois School Districts have only one or two schools, while 1/3 have fewer than 600 students. While P.A. 100-0107 is a step in the right direction allowing a way for municipalities to integrate government units, we need to do more.
- Reduce interest paid on overdue State bills. Currently we pay 1% per month. Profiteering is occurring at taxpayer expense. We should change the interest rate to .4 to .5% per month to more accurately reflect the risk reward lending matrix. This could save over $200 million per year and stop the need of selling bonds to finance.
- We need to address pension underfunding and the greater share of revenue that will be needed in the future to address this unfunded liability. We need a Constitutional Amendment that would allow a bipartisan solution as was previously passed and found unconstitutional. Future we must offer a non-defined benefit plan.