Illinois State Police Targeted for Budget Cuts

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- The administration of Gov. Pat Quinn could be looking to trim the Illinois State Police budget as the state continues to grapple with a bad economy and more than $8 billion in unpaid bills.

Rep. Raymond Poe, R-Springfield, said members of the House Republican staff have told him the governor's budget office is eyeing a $25 million cut in the agency's budget for fiscal 2013, which starts July 1. The Illinois State Police budget this year is $398.7 million, $271.6 million coming from the state's general fund.

"I hate to see the front line cut," Poe said. "If they're going to have to cut anything, I hope it's out of administration, not the front line."

Kelly Kraft, a spokeswoman for Quinn's budget office, on Friday would not discuss the $25 million figure or whether the governor is considering any cuts to the ISP in his budget, which he is due to present to the legislature next month.

"The governor will introduce his budget on Feb. 22," Kraft said in an e-mail.

However, Monique Bond, a spokeswoman for state police, said the administration is not considering combining the state police districts in Macomb and Pittsfield today, although that could change.

Bond described the state police facility in Pittsfield as a "trailer." She said agency officials have to look at their options.

"Right now, it's just not under consideration," she said. "These are things we're going to have to think about. We're always looking at how we can operate more efficiently."

Even if the Pittsfield facility were closed, state troopers would still patrol the area, Bond added.

"We don't want the community to think there's not going to be a district in your area," she said.

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