Furlough days, layoffs, cuts in Quinn budget

July 7, 2009 4:58:42 PM PDT
Governor Pat Quinn offered some specifics Tuesday about his plan to solve the state's budget crisis.Governor Quinn's proposal includes hundreds of layoffs in the Department of Corrections and Department of Human Services, as well as other cuts in every state department.

He made the announcement while vetoing a budget bill that allows him to avoid making the cuts alone. The proposal now goes back to lawmakers.

"We have three missions to cut costs, cut costs, cut costs," said Gov. Quinn.

Governor Quinn is willing to cut costs but not without the help of Springfield. On Monday, Quinn told suburban lawmakers he would cut $1billion in the state budget. Today, the governor passed the buck back to legislators by recommending-- not mandating-- layoffs and furloughs.

"This is not a one-horse show. We've got to make sure our governor works with the legislature to cut the budget in a fair way across the board with shared sacrifice," said Gov. Quinn.

Quinn hopes lawmakers will go for his recommended 2600 layoffs:

  • More than 1,000 layoffs will come from the Illinois Department Of Corrections
  • 870 from the Department of Human Services
  • The governor is also calling for 12 furlough days for state employees that must be negotiated with unions before enacting.

    "A furlough is tantamount to a pay cut for a state employee and we feel that's an undue burden on a state worker who is in all likelihood going to be paying higher state taxes," said Anders Lindall, AFSCME Council 31.

    Despite his cuts proposal, Quinn is not abandoning his call for raising the state income tax. Many believe generating revenue is more efficient than cutting state government.

    "We're not cutting waste. We're not cutting fraud. We are cutting really important programs that the most vulnerable people in the state of Illinois rely on," said Ralph Martire, Center for Tax Budget Accountability. "

    The Center For Tax Budget Accountability says Illinois has one of the leanest budgets in the nation. As the 5th largest state, Illinois ranks 49th in state workers per capita.

    Lawmakers return to Springfield a week from today. Gov. Quinn is confident a balanced budget can be worked out in one day.


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