Republican governor Bruce Rauner announced his budget plans with a splash today, including top ten list and some very image provoking visuals. While he didn’t provide any data, Rauner says it will save the state $1 billion.
Rauner who wants to run Illinois in 2015 was joined at his announcement today by a flock of prairie chickens. They are the same kind virtually flown first class earlier this year from Kansas to Illinois to boost the population here. They are an endangered species, so says the state. Rauner says the birds are nothing more than a sign of mismanaged spending. He says there’s no room in the budget for it at all.
Govenor Quinn’s people dispute the dollars spent for the chicken run. Not the cost of $117,000, but the source. They call Rauner’s show and tell today fiction. The governor’s office tells WGN the $100,000-plus spent to ship the chickens was a combination of federal funds and money from hunting fees and licenses earmarked to help endangered species.
Still, Rauner wants to reduce the Illinois fleet of planes that shuttle to and from the capitol at a high cost to tax payers.
“We do not need the largest fleet in the U.S.,” he said.
Rauner says he wants to kill his own salary of $177,000 and any pension he might receive if he wins. He also wants to restrict outside employment for legislative leaders.