More Cuts Likely for State Agencies

Springfield, IL – State agencies in Illinois took a budget blow this year. Now Governor Pat Quinn's administration is looking to make further cuts.

Quinn's office of management and budget wants to carve billions of dollars out of next year's spending through reductions at state agencies.

Spokeswoman Kelly Kraft confirms the office sent a letter to small and medium-sized agencies late last month. It asks directors to prepare spending plans that come in at 14% less than their already-slimmed down appropriations of this fiscal year.

Kraft says the governor's budget office is looking to receive agencies' feedback on potential cost-cutting areas in preparation for Quinn's budget address on February 17.

"Anything court ordered cannot be cut, anything that would create the loss of federal dollars we would not want to cut, and of course we would not want to cut anything that would create more spending in regard to overtime," says Kraft. "So really everything is going to have to be considered on a case-by-case basis. But, you know, this is going to be up to the agencies to say 'this is what we took a look at, this is what we think we can do, what do you think of this?'"

She says it is possible agencies could recommend layoffs.

While Kraft says a 14% cut isn't definite for every agency, cuts are inevitable. She says borrowing and revenue increases will also be needed.

Kraft says larger agencies have also been asked to identify cuts. But she says the budget office is holding meetings to discuss their spending.

The state's budget gap is projected to be around $11 billion. However, the state budget plan is a work in progress so there's no target figure for the cuts.

But Quinn's budget director, David Vaught, says $2 billion dollars of cuts to agencies is one realistic number.

Thanks to Illinois Public Radio