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Rutherford cutting own budget for second time

Treasurer prepares for self-imposed cuts

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013 2:59 p.m. CDT

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — 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 finan-ces are dire,” Rutherford said. “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. 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.

“When people ask me about the problems we face in Illinois, I tell them to keep the faith, this situation can be reversed,” Rutherford said. “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.”

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