When the previous fiscal year ended on June 30, 2018, State Representative Tom Morrison (R-Palatine) returned $16,621 of unused district office funds to the State of Illinois.
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.
“This is one way I can lead by example,” said Morrison. “I am frugal with my district office spending and always try to return between 10% and 20% of my local allotment back to the State. This year I was able to return almost 24%.”
Morrison said he uses paper and official postage only when necessary and relies heavily on electronic communication with his constituents. To promote local community outreach events or to discuss legislative issues with residents who contact the office, he relies heavily on email, the Internet, and local media, which is free of charge. 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 8th consecutive year that Morrison has returned money at the end of the fiscal year.