(Chicago, IL) — July 6, 2010. Oof.
A new report by the Associated Press reveals that Governor Pat Quinn has handed out 43 raises to 35 staffers, averaging 11.4%, over the last 15 months. Some raises exceeded 20%.
Can you spell b-o-n-e-h-e-a-d-e-d?
Illinois is approximately .37¢ away from insolvency. It has a $13 billion deficit. Quinn has been begging and literally borrowing money to keep the lights on–barely. He’s been stiffing state universities. He’s been delaying payments to thousands of state vendors six months or longer. He’s been cutting money for local schools, mental health providers, state police, etc. He’s been threatening to cut lawmakers’ salaries.
Meanwhile, he’s been handing out raises to top staff? You gotta be kidding me. Either the political antennas of the governor’s entire friggin’ staff are unplugged or Quinn has an election death wish. Or both.
Michelle Saddler, the Secretary of the Illinois Department of Human Services, last week had to send out contracts to mental health providers across state which were cut by approximately $45 million even after a last minute $55 million restoration. Still, some agencies’ budgets were whittled by 34%.
The Governor’s chief architect of the budget butchery, David Vaught, got a $24,000 raise, boosting his pay to $144,000. Nice.
Quinn’s general election challenger, State Senator Bill Brady (R-Bloomington), predictably, waled away on Quinn.
“While working families are tightening their belts and doing more with less, Pat Quinn is doling out massive pay raises to his own staff – and we’re paying for them. Today’s revelation shows, once again, that Pat Quinn is incapable of solving our fiscal crisis, and has lost control of state government,” said Brady.
Executive raises are difficult to raise in the best of economic times. But in the stranglehold of near economic depression conditions? Are you nuts?
Insert epithet here:__________________.