Quinn’s proposed Cuts & Closures Backfiring So Far…

Posted: September 12, 2011 by mikethemouth in IDOC, IL in Fiscal Ruins
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Nobody is taking Governor Pat Quinn’s threats to lay-off state employees en masse and close down seven state facilities because of a budget crunch seriously so far. As we said, it is doubtful that Quinn is going to be successful in carrying out lay-offs and closures, because he has too many hurtles to cross. What Quinn’s tactic is managing to do is generate a lot of negative publicity for Quinn’s overall competence. Kurt Erickson’s article below summarizes why everyone is dissing Quinn for threatening large-scale lay-offs and facility closures when Quinn chooses to ignore other possible alternative revenue sources available to the state to raise the equivalent, if not more, money:   (Click on article titles)

Erickson: Quinn’s announcement viewed as bluff

Illinois takes in more cash from taxpayers, less from feds

Below is AFSCME’s factsheet on the proposed Quinn lay-offs and facility closures. Aside from the drastic effects on social service agencies for the disabled, AFSCME points out that Quinn is proposing to close Chester, the only mental health facility serving the mentally ill inmates of the state prison population and the IL Youth Center, the state’s only juvenile boot camp. This only goes to show readers how unrealistic the proposed closures are and to indicate the degree of opposition Quinn would face if he actually pushes to make these closures.

What this directly shows that this is all a political ploy by the Governor to pressure the state legislature into approving a supplemental budget appropriation for the year, is that fact that the proposed actions are designed to inflict maximum pain at the cost of relatively minimum gain: since the state would only save less than $55 million this fiscal year, or a staggering 0.2 percent of the entire state budget. Since Quinn’s budget showfall is a $2.2 billion dollar gap, $55 million will hardly cover it. Quinn would still have to depend on state legislators or other means to cover the rest, and antagonizing them now is a poor strategy.  As some are pointing out, it will take money to save money:  (Click on article title)

Closing mental facilities to cost millions

As to the number of state employees, remember that IL ranks just about last (if not last) in the country as to the ratio of approx 97 state employees to every 10,000 inhabitants. US states average 143 workers per 10,000 residents. IL has been number 49 on the list for several years since cutting state employees became the priority under Blagovich.

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