As Fiscal Year 2016 was ending at the end of June, State Representative Tom Morrison (R-Palatine) returned more than $16,000 to the State of Illinois from his District Office Allotment.
Each year, every legislator is provided with approximately $69,500 for use in running a local legislative office. Salaries for employees, rent, utilities, computer equipment, office supplies and travel for official business is purchased with these funds.
“Illinois’ budget crisis extends to all budget areas, and I want to lead by example,” said Morrison. “We run a frugal office in Palatine, and each year I try to return at least 10% of my district office budget allotment back to the State.”
Morrison said he minimizes paper usage and relies heavily on electronic communication with his constituents. “To promote local community outreach events or to discuss legislative issues, we again rely on our computers, on press releases, on community electronic bulletin boards and social media for our messaging,” Morrison said. For committee meetings in Chicago, he uses public transit to save on driving and parking costs. “Every penny adds up, and if all 177 House and Senate offices could reduce their local spending by at least 10%, we would be setting a great example for how state spending could be reduced.”
This recent return of funds marks the 6th consecutive year that Morrison has returned money at the end of the fiscal year.