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Rutherford cuts office budget by 2 percent

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Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford said Friday he’s cutting his office budget 2 percent for next fiscal year, which will make his $8.4 million operating budget lower than it was a decade years ago. But he said he also wants the state legislature to permanently reduce the money the treasurer’s office gets annually.

“I believe it’s important to statutorily redo my budget, and that’s why I’m introducing an apropos bill for a decrease,” Rutherford. “That way the money will be well know, it’ll be available if the general assembly decides they want to put it towards paying off bills, they want to use it for debt retirement, let them decide -- I’m going to make it available.”

To make these cuts, the treasurer reorganized his staff and cut small costs, like reusing the former administration’s letterhead. And he’s willing, in his words, “to see if, as we progress, if there’s more there I can curtail. I’m all about it.”

Rutherford said he’d use the $180,000 a year in savings to chip away at the state’s debt. The tax watchdog group Civic Federation projected last week that Illinois will end the 2012 fiscal year $8.3 billion in the red.

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