Watchdogs Release 2010 Illinois Piglet Book (Wasted Taxes)

(Chicago, Illinois) – The Illinois Policy Institute and Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) today released the 2010 Illinois Piglet Book (.PDF FIle), a report finding $350 million in lost savings, challenging the myth there’s no fat in the Illinois state budget. The report reviews state spending on education, health and human services, natural resources, agriculture, the arts council and economic development. In 2008, the Institute and CAGW released a 2008 Illinois Piglet Book, which uncovered hundreds of millions of dollars of wasteful spending. Two years later, the wasteful spending continues. Here are a few examples:

  • $6,500 for a tub of live bass. The state paid for fishing seminars and demonstrations using a 4,000-gallon, 40-foot long tank filled with live fish.
  • $10,000 for a Hollywood gala. Your tax dollars funded a star-studded party for “Dark Knight” director Christopher Nolan.
  • $78,066 for quail promotion. The state is funding Quail Unlimited, which is “dedicated to the wise use and management of America’s wild quail, doves, upland game birds and other forms of wildlife.”
  • $353,165 for car racing. The state is funding Raceway Associates, which partners with big-time races like the Indianapolis 500 and the Daytona 500, as well as a massive construction grant for Atkinson Motorsports Park in northwestern Illinois.

“The 2010 Illinois Piglet Book identifies more than $350 million in unnecessary and wasteful spending our state leaders have tucked into the budget,” said Illinois Policy Institute CEO John Tillman. “Springfield has a spending problem, not a revenue problem – and these numbers just scratch the surface. It is clear the appetite for spending must be curtailed if we are going to solve our budget crisis.”

“The 2010 Illinois Piglet Book shows that Illinois legislators and bureaucrats need to be better stewards of the citizen’s tax dollars,” said CAGW Vice President of Policy David Williams.

“In this difficult economic climate, Illinoisans have tightened their belts, yet our lawmakers continue to spend our tax dollars like there is no tomorrow,” said Nicole Kurokawa, Author of 2010 Illinois Piglet Book. “Passing on such monumental debt to future generations is selfish and fiscally irresponsibility, and must end.”

The Illinois Policy Institute is a nonpartisan research and education organization, a leading voice for economic liberty and government accountability in Illinois, engaging policymakers, opinion leaders, and citizens on the state and local level by promoting free market principles and liberty-based public policy initiatives. To learn more, visit CAGW is a private, non-partisan, non-profit organization representing more than one million members and supporters nationwide whose mission is to eliminate waste, mismanagement, and inefficiency in the federal government. To learn more, visit

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