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State slimdown could save money

ILLINOIS -- The state is saving taxpayers money by consolidating several government offices.
ILLINOIS -- The state is saving taxpayers money by consolidating several government offices. WCIA-3's Alex Davis keeps you Connected to the Capitol.

Offices are being eliminated or downsized; most recently, 2.5 million square feet of leased space. It's part of Governor Quinn's plan to save taxpayers money.

"As part of Governor Quinn's review of fiscal year 2015 budget bills that he's deciding whether or not to sign, he's recognized $55 million worth of savings in state lease payments."

It's a statewide effort. Contracts on state-leased buildings in Chicago, Springfield, Tuscola, Charleston and Effingham have all been scoured over.

"We've closed and consolidated more than 50 state facilities."

All together, over the years, their closures add up to big bucks.

"The savings in lease space total $220 million since the beginning of the administration."

An outcome George Andrews would like to see more of here in Illinois.

"In any situation, when you have expenditures are more than your income, you've got to make cuts."

But, sometimes that's easier said than done. As we've seen numerous times, making cuts comes with a cost, but some people say it makes sense if there's going to be savings for taxpayers.

Think back to the closing of the Jacksonville Developmental Center or Dwight Correctional Center. Those closures put a lot of people into an uproar.

"As far as I'm concerned, things like that are very unfortunate, you know, when we put people at risk because we have to close facilities like that."

But, a penny saved is a penny earned. Many believe it's necessary for these closures to continue to put Illinois back on sound footing.

"If you're not willing to increase your income in any way, you've got to make cuts."

That 2.5 million square feet of leased space is about as large as Trump Tower in Chicago.
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