Willis Pushes for Transparency and Accountability from Rauner Administration

NORTHLAKE, Ill. – State Rep. Kathleen Willis, D-Northlake, is working to ensure Gov. Rauner is accountable to taxpayers and being truthful about the number of employees on his staff and how their salaries are funded. Willis is sponsoring legislation that will prevent the governor from hiding staff salaries in other state agencies, a practice referred to as “offshoring.”

“The governor must be accountable to taxpayers, and offshoring his employees’ salaries is deceiving the people of Illinois,” Willis said. “I believe it is wrong and blatantly unethical for Rauner to trick taxpayers into believing his office is spending less on staff and their salaries than what is actually being reported in his budget.”

Willis is sponsoring House Bill 5121, the Truth in Hiring Act, which would mandate that employee salaries in the Office of the Governor be paid from the governor’s payroll. Past and current administrations have “offshored” their employees’ salaries to other agencies, taking essential funds away from them and masking the true size of the governor’s budget. Currently, the governor’s office fiscal year 2018 budget is $4.9 million, employing 44 staffers. However, the true size of the governor’s budget is believed to be about $10.4 million, as 58 staffers are being paid from the budgets of other agencies.

“Considering Rauner’s financial background, these types of phony accounting tricks may be acceptable amongst him and his colleagues, but not to middle-class families who expect our tax dollars to be funding critical services for our communities,” Willis said. “It’s time that we put a stop to the practice of offshoring, and therefore underreporting, the salaries of political appointees.”