ABC Channel 7 is reporting a bill that would require Congressmen to fly coach.
How about Illinois State Reps. and Senators?
They would have little choice out of Springfield’s Capitol Airport, but I doubt any use it.
Instead the legislative leaders and their buddies fly “Air Illinois.”
State government has an air fleet larger than some countries.
Heaven forbid that Mike Madigan and John Cullerton drive to and from Chicago as most ordinary members must.
Back in the mid-1980’s when I was working in the Central Management Services Department bureaucracy, I was on a Cost Containment Task Force to advise Governor Jim Thompson on how to save money.
There and on a separate project, I identified three ways:
- Not allowing every agency to have their own high speed copy machines and/or printing presses. I discovered that the most efficient operations cost a penny apiece for printing. I argued any agency that spent more than that should be forced to outsource their long-run reproduction jobs to the most efficient operation, which was run by CMS. Ironically, after I left, the CMS print shop was closed.
- Forcing most state employees traveling by air between Chicago and Springfield to take commercial planes, plus bulk buying the seats. Needless to say, both suggestions fell on deaf ears. The reason? It was state government’s role to subsidize scheduled airlines that served Springfield.
- I analyzed the efficiency of mechanics in state garages spread all of the state. That was a concept called “book rate,” which allocated a number of hours or minutes to each type of job. State mechanics worked 7.5 hours a day. A good mechanic can do much more than 8 hours of book rate work a day. As an example, when I was earning $10,000 a year as McHenry County Treasurer (with five years of college), a classmate at Crystal Lake Community College was earning $17,000 annually as one of Reickert Cheverlot’s most productive mechanics. Virtually no state mechanic was putting in 8 (or even 7.5) hours of book rate work a day. I recommended all the garages be closed and the work jobbed out to private enterprise. Because many mechanics were political workers, you can guess where my idea was put.
With regard to the use of state planes by legislators, if Bruce Rauner beats Pat Quinn, he could threaten to follow the example of Florida Governor Rick Scott. In Scott’s case, he promised to sell the state planes and did just that.