Illinois State Treasurer Rutherford Cutting His Own Budget for Second Time

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford is proactively cutting his office’s general revenue budget for the upcoming fiscal year by another 3 percent. The budget cut follows similar action last fiscal year when Rutherford self-imposed a 2 percent operations budget cut. Since Rutherford took office, his budget cuts will result in a funding level that has not been this low since 1999.

“Illinois government finances are dire. Rising pension costs are eating away at the state’s ability to fund even essential services like education, public safety and care for some of the most vulnerable in our society. As a 25-year private sector businessman, I have identified common sense ways to reduce my office's General Revenue Fund operations budget,” Rutherford said. “I have combined job responsibilities thus needing fewer employees, and continue to cut expenses.”

Rutherford has been state treasurer for two years. He has reduced his budget by reorganizing existing staff, reducing the vehicle fleet, funding fewer state-paid mobile telephones, closing satellite offices, reducing land line telephones, and has implemented purchasing commodities in bulk to receive better prices.

The treasurer has attained significant results with a reduced budget. The state’s portfolio has stayed secure while earning interest at industry standard rates. Unclaimed property (I-Cash) has returned record levels of money to taxpayers to the tune of $128 million. College savings plans have seen a 30 percent increase in total net assets and more participants than ever before in the program.

Rutherford continued, “When people ask me about the problems we face in Illinois, I tell them to keep the faith, this situation can be reversed. These are tight financial times for everyone, and I am going to streamline and manage my taxpayer budget with less, just like many have to do in their own households.”

Additional Information on Overall 5% Budget Cut

Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford’s Office

-The 2% budget cut in FY12 was maintained at that level in FY13.

-Treasurer Rutherford is now calling for an additional 3% budget cut for FY14.

Action steps taken to implement cost reductions and efficiencies in treasurer’s office since taking office:

Performance audit. A wide ranging performance audit was ordered to determine the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of all programs. This has helped to streamline operations to be more cost effective.

Closure of all satellite offices. Six satellite offices were closed within 30 days of the inauguration. Locations included Effingham, Collinsville, Mt. Vernon, Rockford, Rock Island and Riverdale.

Staff reorganization. Efficiencies realized by restructuring of staff, reorganizing existing people, writing new job descriptions, combining duties and adding additional responsibilities to facilitate a consolidation of jobs.

Letterhead savings. Illinois State Treasurer’s Office letterhead is printed in-house in a quantity of 25,000. By printing these documents on a lighter weight stock we will incur a savings of more than $300 annually.

Speaker phones reduced. Polycom speaker phone devices reduced almost in half resulting in an annual savings of $1,176.

Desk calendars eliminated. Desktop calendars have been eliminated given that all workstations have computer-based calendars. Specialized calendars for banking and investment purposes are the exception. The result was a 90 percent reduction saving the state almost $350 annually.

Decrease in Chicago land lines. Realized an 18 percent reduction in land lines due to staff relocations and review of existing lines. Over $4,500 in savings will be accrued annually.

Redacted letterhead. Redacted and reused tens of thousands of the former administration’s letterhead and envelopes.

Reduction in mobile phone usage. Evaluated cellular needs which resulted in an initial 72 percent reduction in users and an estimated $14,000 savings in the first year. (These statistics may fluctuate as users are added and dropped.)

Vehicle fleet reduction. Motor vehicle usages, along with costs, were analyzed. Accordingly, the fleet was reduced by half.

No across-the-board salary increases were given.

Some additional office savings as of Feb. 2013:

IT hardware enhancements in FY13 yielded $29,786 savings; in FY14, savings will be $30,488.

IT software enhancements amount to $42,942 in savings; in FY14, savings will be $45,148.

$14,880 savings due to IT disaster recovery procedure changes.

Projected savings of $3,900 in FY13 from less specialized paper purchases due to IT enhancements.

$150 savings in FY13 by moving previously warehouse-stored items in-house; savings will be $300 in FY14.

$500 savings by servicing Blackberries in-house.

Minimum of $200 savings by eliminating calendar purchases.

Toilet paper - FY11 $79 per case (35 cases purchased), FY12 - $65 per case ($13 saving per case/40 cases purchased {$660 savings due to buying in bulk}). Item has not been ordered in FY13.

Paper towels - FY11 $87 per case (30 cases purchased), FY12 - $74 per case ($13 savings per case/40 cases purchased {$518 savings due to buying in bulk}). Item has not been ordered in FY13.