By Kristina Rasmussen -
Even though Illinois state government is essentially broke, it apparently knows how to have a good time.
In 2013, Illinois state government awarded two contracts totaling more than $1 million for the procurement of condoms and lubricant.
The bid solicitation document requested a variety of condoms, including “extra large” and even some in “assorted colors.” No ribbing was allowed – only “smooth surface” condoms were permitted.
Lubricant, however, was to be provided in “assorted flavors.” Scents were optional.
All in all, the state bid out for 4,453,000 condoms and 374,000 bottles of lubricant.
And lest you think the government pinched its pennies and went for lower-cost, generic products, think again. The bidding documents outlined requests for condoms with a “recognized brand” that has a “strong retail presence.”
One of the two successful bidders was a health care products company. The other? A Chicagoland construction company. A natural fit if ever there was one.
The contracts expire at the end of 2014, although there are options to renew. Illinoisans can pick up condoms and lubricant at Condom Distribution Sites.
If Illinois has any hope of balancing its budget, it has to begin cutting low-priority spending.
Is it too much to ask people to purchase their own flavored lubricant? I hope not.
Kristina Rasmussen is Exective Vice President of the Illinois Policy Institute