CHICAGO - It's rare that a state official would ever ask the legislature to cut his or her budget, but that's exactly what Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford did last week before the Senate Appropriations II Committee.
The state treasurer's 2015 office budget from the General Revenue Fund was reduced by 5%, marking the third time since becoming treasurer that Rutherford has slashed his office's operations budget.
Rutherford cut his operations budget by 2% during his first year as Treasurer and then in 2013 he reduced it by an additional 3%. In total, 10% percent will have been slashed from the general revenue operations funding since Rutherford became Treasurer.
“I am a businessman with 25 years in the private sector, and I continue to search for ways to reduce my state budget while maintaining standards of performance within the office,” said Treasurer Rutherford. “As a result, I will have cut the general revenue operations funding in my office below the level it was 15 years ago.”
But Rutherford's office had more to crow about. Since Rutherford took over the job, the Unclaimed Property Division increased 69%, returning more than $139 million in assets in calendar year 2013. The number of claims paid since he took office is up 55%.
The College Savings Division has reached more than $6 billion in total assets, with a record of more than 350,000 accounts. That is an increase of 72% in assets and 32% in accounts.
The Warrant and Accounting Divisions were consolidated, saving $200,000 and the primary office technology system was updated to a client/server platform, saving $260,000 in fees.