What? Illinois taxpayers pay for Canadian celebrations?

As Gov. Pat Quinn continues his budgetary charade, the Illinois Policy Institute comes up with yet another way to cut state spending. Here is the Institute's press release:

As Illinois faces a record budget deficit caused by years of overspending, the Illinois Policy Institute calls for the end of a state department that hands out grants for chocolate-themed meals, Canadian celebrations and performing underground research in western Kentucky. This look at the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity's spending activity is the newest installment in a series of reports that raises serious questions about how state government prioritizes taxpayer funds.

The "Spotlight on Spending" series highlights programs and expenditures and examines their efficiency, effectiveness, and relevancy. The Institute's review series is modeled on the Sunshine Commission Act (House Bill 4836) that was approved by lawmakers and awaits Governor Pat Quinn's signature. The Spotlights on Spending assists the government in identifying areas in which taxpayers' dollars can be better allocated and become more responsible in their spending choices as they work to address Illinois's budget problems.

The Institute urges the elimination of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity because it has failed in its mission to create and retain jobs while also choosing to spend money on unessential projects. This paper in the Spotlight series highlights examples of agency spending that simply cannot be justified in tight economic times.


Examples of DCEO Wasteful Spending:

·         $1,272.88 given to the Blackhawk Waterways Convention and Visitors Bureau in the just-finished budget year to advertise chocolate themed meals at bed and breakfasts after already providing the bureau with a total of $219,067 over the last two years to promote tourism

·         $100,000 given to the Western Illinois Tourism Development Office to assist with hosting a Canadian Fourth of July Celebration

·         $250,000 given to the Western Kentucky Carbon Storage Foundation to drill a well to test the permanent storage of carbon dioxide underground in western Kentucky


If DCEO was good at creating jobs, this state wouldn't rank 48th out of 50 states in creating jobs over the last 10 years," said Kate Piercy, Director of Government Reform for the Illinois Policy Institute. "But DCEO is failing and on that measure alone we think it should be eliminated. Eliminating DCEO will send a strong message that government leaders are committed to spending taxpayer money wisely on core services and programs that provide real value and improve the economy."



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  • Don't these stupid bastards get it????????? We do not have the money. Most people understand the concept of a budget what don't our elected officials understand? VOTE ALL INCUMBANTS OUT.

  • Your fellow free lance columnist McCarron almost got the point that Quinn's priorities are screwed up, when he pointed out that mental health was cut (and I believe that mental health is a state duty), while other things were not. Then McCarron went into a tirade about Republicans, for gawd knows what reason, except for not extending unemployment compensation.

    The CTA Tattler also implied (citing a Crain's article) that Quinn's priorities are messed up, in that there apparently is some capital money, but he won't allocate any of the appropriated amounts to transit. Not that it would make any difference so long as the construction unions, buoyed up by stimulus money, have gone on strike, thus killing that stimulus.

    Somebody should put together all these examples of hypocrisy and publish them, not just blog snippets. Again, though, we can count on the Tribune not to investigate or publish that.

  • Thanks to Jack for expressing how most of us feel.The tribune will be nothing but a footnote at the museum unless they start reporting.Again we don't only get frustrated by how the printed news reports but what they choose NOT to report.

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