In Illinois, the politically connected are paid first.
The folks with real needs - but little political power - are paid last if at all.
THE $50 BILLION ILLINOIS FAVOR FACTORY HUMS ALONG
Forbes Editorial | August 31, 2016
It's been two years since Illinois state government had a full-year budget. Now, more than 70,000 vendors are owed $8.2 billion.
Yet, despite the legislative deadlock, more than $50 billion in state payments flowed to providers and other entities in FY2016.
So, who got paid and for how much?
Here's a sample of our findings:
- State agencies are barred by law from contracting with lobbyists. In 2016, Comptroller Leslie Munger continued to pay a lobbyist $50,000 out of her own budget. More than $370,000 in payments flowed to lobbyist Shea, Paige and Rogal since 2009. So, how is this legal?
- Wealthy North Shore communities received tens of millions of dollars: Highland Park ($20.4 million); Wilmette ($9.3 million); Glencoe ($3.4 million); Lake Forest ($7.2 million); and Kenilworth ($421,200). In DuPage county, Hinsdale received over $7.5 million.
Yesterday, $4.1 million in bonuses were paid to 1,320 IL Department of Transportation (IDOT) employees - members of Teamsters. It was a brand-new bucket of compensation.
Last year, millions of dollars were spent on pricey engineering firms for road construction projects - while IDOT employs 2,300 engineers and engineering techs.
Comptroller Leslie Munger spent taxpayer funds on abortions - while withholding payments to the developmentally disabled and was nearly held in contempt of federal court last summer.
State government paid refugee relocation firms millions of dollars - while Illinois had net outward migration of its own residents.
And much more...
Once again, it's time to hold the political class accountable for their tax and spent decisions. Click here
to see an interactive map of all Illinois state spending by ZIP code for fiscal year 2016.