Simon will ask for $1.9 million for her 2013 budget, compared with
$2.1 million for the current fiscal year, marking the lowest
appropriation request from a lieutenant governor in more than 16
years, spokeswoman Kati Phillips said. Secretary of State Jesse
White -- whose office had a $390 million budget this fiscal year --
is considering similar cuts suggested by the governor, his spokesman
The governor's office confirmed Saturday that Gov. Pat Quinn
has asked the state's constitutional offices to consider cutting
their budgets by at least 9 percent. Quinn is expected to detail his
budget plan Wednesday.
Along with the lieutenant governor and secretary of state,
Illinois' constitutional offices are the attorney general, treasurer
White's spokesman, David Druker, said the governor's office has
asked White to make a 9.4 percent reduction.
"We are taking a hard look at it," Druker said Saturday. "As
always, we're making every effort to streamline the office. And
we'll be doing our share of cutting. We have to look at how it
impacts the overall function of the office because we do provide
critical services to the public."
People speaking for the attorney general and comptroller said
they didn't know if the budget request had been made. Messages left
Saturday evening for the treasurer and state budget office weren't
Illinois' backlog of unpaid bills is currently estimated at $9.2
Simon plans to eliminate three positions, and senior staff took
four unpaid furlough days this fiscal year to help absorb the cuts,
Phillips said. She said Simon wanted to take the lead in
volunteering for a reduction that was similar to what other state
agencies are being asked to give up.
She said so far, the lieutenant governor is the only
constitutional office to publicly volunteer to take a budget cut.
[to top of second column]
The lieutenant governor oversees the Illinois Main Street program
and chairs various state panels, such as the Illinois River
Coordinating Council and the Rural Affairs Council.
Historically, lieutenant governors supplement those duties with
special projects based on their own interests and the needs of the
governor. Simon, a former law professor, is the governor's point
person on education.
"With families across the state cutting back in these tough
economic times, I want to do my part to make state government more
efficient and will continue to work to save taxpayers money," Simon
said in a statement.
By KAREN HAWKINS]
Associated Press writer Jason Keyser contributed to
this report from Chicago.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This
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