Some $4 million in salaries for Gov. Bruce Rauner's staff is being picked up by state agencies, not the governor's office, according to a review by the Associated Press.
That $4 million represents half of the cost of the collective salaries earned by the governor's staffers.
The Rauner administration has previously stated that state agencies were covering $3 million in salaries for the governor's staff. Rauner's team has also previously pointed out that former Gov. Pat Quinn had state agencies pick up $3.5 million in staff salaries per year.
The practice has been defended in part because the governor's staffers are performing duties connected to the state agencies covering their salaries.
In response to the news agency's review, Rauner spokesman Lance Trover said, "You can slice and dice the state payroll in multiple ways, but the two bottom lines are: all payroll is publicly reported, and the Rauner administration is spending less on total agency-wide payroll than the previous administration."
House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) is at least one person who sees the issue differently. He said the governor is going against his promise as a candidate to bring more transparency to state government.
"This is one of the things that he complained about as a candidate," Madigan told the AP. "It's easy enough for the governor to (instead) come in before the Legislature and say, 'I'd like to increase the size of the appropriation in the governor's office because I want to hire people that I think are qualified, and I'd like to pay them an appropriate salary.'"