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Quinn Eliminates, Consolidates 75 Boards and Commissions
With the stroke of a pen, Gov. Pat Quinn eliminated dozens of state boards and commissions he calls "unnecessary."
It's his effort to streamline state government.
Quinn recently issued the executive order to get rid of boards that are inactive and consolidate commissions that overlap. They range from the Governor's Agriculture Advisory Council to the Racial Profiling Task Force.
"I'm issuing an executive order to officially eliminate or consolidate 75 boards and commissions to increase efficiency," Quinn said during his budget address last week.
Forty-eight hours later, Quinn delivered on this promise introduced during his annual budget address.
One of the units he's eliminating is the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.
The commission organized and coordinated events to celebrate Lincoln's 200th birthday in 2009.
"The commission's work was very important," Chris Wills, spokesman for the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, said. "It was taking advantage of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and it seemed to go beautifully. There was an extreme increase in Lincoln's sites. There were articles all over the nation."
But, the work has been done for years. And it's not the only commission that's inactive.
In addition to officially dissolving the group, the governor is eliminating several others, such as the Safe Games Task Force and Illinois Reform Commission.
According to a website, that unit finished its work in 2009.
"Some are more regulatory, actually oversee and have actual things they do," said Chris Mooney, political studies professor at the University of Illinois - Springfield. "Some have--for instance, the parole board--they actually do specific things, work a lot of hours, impact people's lives. Some are vaguely defined, hardly ever meet, and were there for some oversight purpose or political purpose originally."
As long as the General Assembly doesn't object, the governor is also getting rid of two railroad relocation authorities and the Health Care Workplace Violence Prevention Task Force.
"We would definitely commend the governor at looking at some of these task forces and shutting down the ones are inactive," Matt Paprocki, senior director of government affairs for the Illinois Policy Institute, said. "We also think they need to look at some of these task forces before setting them up."
With the executive order, Illinois still has 317 boards and commissions. Of those, 24 are paid. Eight are full time, and 16 are part time. The rest are all volunteer.
The governor's office hasn't said how much money the elimination and consolidation of boards and commissions will save the state, instead saying it's about efficiency.