NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


June 22, 2005

The Illinois Policy Institute and Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) has released its 2005 Illinois Piglet book. The book identifies some $600 million of systemic waste in the state budget.

Among the highlights:

  • The report identifies 21 large corporations that received grants from the Department Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), including $1 million to Target Corporation and $3 million to medical supplies company, Hospira.
  • The state spends hundreds of thousands each year on targeted initiatives like a $10,000 skate park in Hebron; in 2006 though, these initiatives are hidden behind large increases in lump sums appropriated to the DCEO.
  • Recent studies show that Illinois could save $200 million next year by moving Medicaid enrollees into established managed care plans -- something most states have already accomplished.
  • The Institute believes there is significant waste in the State's School Construction Grant Program; a loophole in the law meant originally as a safe guard has been exploited in at least one district (and probably many others) to build $34 million worth of new schools the district doesn't need and cannot afford.
  • Some $150,000 dollars was given to the Illinois' Grape and Wine Industry; $37 million a year goes for sports facilities benefiting private franchises (financed on the backs of Hotel Proprietors and customers); and $27 million for a gun range in Sparta, Ill.

This is only the tip of the iceberg, says Illinois Policy Institute Executive Director Greg Blankenship. Rather than continue the time honored tradition of raiding pensions and raising taxes to balance the budget, officials need to root out waste, inefficiencies and mismanagement occurring in state government, he concluded.

Source: "2005 Illinois Piglet Book: The Book Springfield Doesn't Want You to Read," Illinois Policy Institute and Citizens Against Government Waste, June 8, 2005.


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