Republican members of the Senate and House have called for gerrymandering reform in Illinois for years. Republican lawmakers have consistently argued that politicians should not be in charge of drawing the maps, and that the maps should not be drawn based on the incumbent legislator’s residence.
The redistricting process should be open for public review, and using partisan voting history of district residents to draw maps discourages competition and reduces voter choice.
PAYING SOMEONE TO EXPAND LOTTERY?
Also this week, it was reported that state officials are looking for ways to bring in more revenue through Illinois’ lottery program.
Recently, the state hired New York-based management consulting firm Oliver Wyman Group for $3.95 million to help Illinois select a private company to manage the state’s lottery. Lottery directors say that the state’s lottery already operates well under the current management structure, but hiring a lottery manager could help Illinois bring in even more revenue through increased marketing efforts and possible gaming expansion.
Quinn Administration officials say that the lottery manager would be compensated using a percentage of lottery profits. The company would receive pay increases if it stimulates new revenues through expanded marketing, by adding new games like keno or Internet lottery sales, or by identifying ways for the lottery to operate more efficiently.
Lottery officials stress that the proposal is not for the state to relinquish control of the overall lottery operation, but to simply hire someone to manage and market the lottery program to increase revenues. The estimated payoff of hiring a private company to market the state’s lottery is $1 billion over 10 years.
CORRECTIONS NEARLY RUNS OUT OF BULLETS FOR TRAINING
The Department of Corrections scrambled to make an emergency—and costly—purchase of ammunition last month from an out-of-state vendor after the current in-state vendor refused to ship bullets unless they were paid in advance.
Illinois is currently $6,000 behind in paying Shore Galleries Inc. of Lincolnwood, which supplies bullets for state correctional officers. As a result, the vendor is requiring the state to pay cash upfront.
However, instead of simply paying the company the $6,000 it was owed, Corrections placed an emergency bullet order that cost nearly $200,000 from a company in Indiana.
The ammunition shortage did not put the public at risk and affected only Corrections cadets who are in training. However, this is yet another example of Governor Pat Quinn’s mismanaged budget and misplaced priorities.