February 19th, 2020
State Police Cutback a Step in Right Direction
CHICAGO—The Acting Director of the Illinois State Police, Jonathon Monken, has stated that without a 33% increase in state personal income taxes, he will lay off more than 460 state troopers and close five regional headquarters.
National Taxpayers United of Illinois (NTUI) applauds this plan.
According to Jim Tobin, NTUI President, “Illinois taxpayers are currently paying top dollar for over 2,000 state troopers, whose primary job is to generate revenue for the state by ticketing those same taxpayers.”
Monken estimated the expected loss in “citation revenue” to be $12 million per year.
“That $12 million taxpayers can keep in their own pockets is just a start,” said Tobin. “The entire system of state highway enforcement is redundant and a waste of taxpayer dollars. There is no reason that county or city police departments cannot be responsible for all highways and tollways in their districts.”
According to the Illinois State Police Merit Board, a first year state trooper’s base salary is $50,376, plus health, dental, life, and vision coverage. After 26 years and 8 months, a 52 year-old officer, who will be making over $100,000 per year, can retire with 80% of his last salary as a state-guaranteed, multi-million dollar pension for life with automatic cost-of-living increases.
“There are good reasons for a state crime lab, but there are no compelling reasons for state troopers to enforce traffic laws,” said Tobin. “The legislature should eliminate the entire state highway patrol and save taxpayers of Illinois many more millions. The budget hole that Illinois legislators have dug is not going to be filled by tinkering around the edges—we have to cut entire unnecessary and redundant departments like the state police highway patrol.“