Friday, January 29, 2010
sponsored by

Rep. Mitchell: State should sell its fleet of aircraft

Governor, state employees should use Amtrak instead of $3,000-per-hour state plane

Send a link to a friend

[January 29, 2010]  SPRINGFIELD -- The $12 billion budget deficit hasn't stopped state officials from flying back and forth to Chicago on the state's executive aircraft at a cost of $3,000 per hour.

State Rep. Bill Mitchell, R-Forsyth, believes the state should sell its fleet of executive aircraft. Mitchell spoke at the Springfield Amtrak station, where he suggested the governor and state employees use the Amtrak service between Chicago and Springfield.

"We're spending $4 million a year to fly the governor and other top officials back and forth from Chicago to Springfield," Mitchell said. "Instead of spending $3,000 an hour for these flights, state officials should be taking Amtrak, especially since it only costs $36 round trip."

The state of Illinois maintains a fleet of 16 aircraft, including six executive aircraft, worth an estimated $22 million. The state pays for daily air shuttles between Chicago and Springfield -- back and forth in the morning and the evening. Mitchell is proposing legislation to sell the state fleet, with the exception of aircraft used by the Illinois State Police.

"I think taxpayers would be shocked to know that the state owns an executive fleet of planes worth $22 million," Mitchell said. "Gov. Quinn mentioned a green economy and green jobs eight different times during his State of the State speech. I would suggest that if the governor wants to truly be green, he should sell these expensive aircraft and take the train."

Most other large states, including California, Florida and Texas, don't fly daily shuttles for state employees. They only have flights by appointment for the highest ranking officials. The state of New York does not fly employees from the capital city, Albany, to New York City.

"If it's good enough for these other big states, it's good enough for Illinois," Mitchell said.

[Text from file sent on behalf of Rep. Bill Mitchell by Illinois Senate Republican staff]

< Top Stories index

Back to top


News | Sports | Business | Rural Review | Teaching and Learning | Home and Family | Tourism | Obituaries

Community | Perspectives | Law and Courts | Leisure Time | Spiritual Life | Health and Fitness | Teen Scene
Calendar | Letters to the Editor