Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Pilots Grounded but Remain on Illinois Payroll

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Pilots Grounded but Remain on Illinois Payroll

Article excerpt

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. * Five state airplane pilots spent the first quarter of Illinois' fiscal year showing up at their jobs with little chance of leaving the ground.

The reason: Beginning in July, Gov. Bruce Rauner grounded the state air shuttle that ferried state workers and lawmakers between Springfield and Chicago as part of a budget-cutting plan designed to save an estimated $3 million.

Data provided by the transportation agency through a Freedom of Information Act request shows the shuttles flew 136 times in the three months leading up to Rauner's decree. Afterwards, records show the planes took off zero times.

Yet, the same five pilots who formerly flew the planes were still on the payroll, earning a combined $39,500 per month.

In October, one of the five pilots voluntarily left the state workforce. …

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