Governor candidate Bruce Rauner is offering some ideas to save the state money.
He wants to reduce the size of the state’s fleet of aircraft, now at 16, which he says costs the state $5 million a year.
“We will stop this process of shuttling people regularly at a high cost to the taxpayers down to Springfield. We will keep a few of the planes, a couple, but we do not need the largest fleet in the United States,” he said today (Thursday) at a news conference in Bedford Park.
For his campaign, Rauner said he is largely driving, but he has been using a private plane owned by a campaign donor. He says if he’s elected governor, he’ll probably stop doing that.
Rauner promises $1 billion in savings from a variety of sources:
- Cutting “wasteful” spending, such as $60 million in overtime for prison guards; he implied he would hire more guards; $117,000 to fly prairie chickens in from Kansas, though the chickens actually had to be flown in for biological reasons to get them to breed; $670,000 for copper-plated doors at the Capitol, part of a historic restoration; and various “pork barrel” projects that recipient communities would prefer to characterize as economic development.
- He promised not to take any salary ($177,000) or pension if he is elected governor. He proposes a 10 percent cut in the budgets for the General Assembly, the secretary of state, the attorney general , lieutenant governor, comptroller and treasurer – savings: $40 million.
- Merge the offices of comptroller and treasurer – savings: $12 million
- Reform the Office of Central Management Services – savings projected at $500 million.
- Make sure Medicaid recipients are eligible – savings projected at $250 million.