ALTON – As lawmakers continue working toward a state budget, state Rep. Dan Beiser, D-Alton, is highlighting a little-known avenue for taxpayers to contribute their solutions by identifying cost-saving measures within state government.
“The hard-working men and women of Illinois examine their spending to figure out what is necessary, and they learn to live within their means — state government should do the same thing. I am asking taxpayers to think about their interactions with state government and share their cost-saving ideas,” said Beiser. “The solutions to Illinois’ budgetary problems will require a balanced approach, which will include some cuts to spending, and that is what this program is aiming to do. Every penny counts, so even the smallest savings should be explored.”
In the midst of Illinois’ budget stalemate, Beiser said his top priority in the upcoming legislative session is a balanced budget for the state. To show his dissatisfaction with the status quo, Beiser did not accept a paycheck from the state for a full year.
The State Government Suggestion Award Board allows Illinois residents to submit ideas to help eliminate wasteful spending in state government. The suggestion is reviewed by a panel of legislators who work with the agency that would be impacted to see if the idea is able to be implemented and evaluate its merits. For ideas that result in actual money saved, the individual who made the suggestion would be awarded between $50 and $5,000 depending on the amount the state saves. There are 10 rules for participation in the award board, including that the suggestion must be original and cannot require a change in the state or federal constitution.
According to the Illinois Department of Central Management Services, since 1993, the state has realized a savings of $566,021 through ideas submitted.
“If a taxpayer believes state government could perform its functions more efficiently through the elimination of some bureaucratic red tape or onerous policies, then that’s something that should be fully vetted,” said Beiser. “I’ll keep looking for ways to save money and get the state’s finances back on track.”
To submit your cost-saving idea, visit https://www.illinois.gov/gov/SGSAB/Pages/default.aspx.
— From the Illinois Business Journal