Skillicorn Urges Privatization of State Fair

On the eve of Governor’s Day at the Illinois State Fair, State Representative Allen Skillicorn (R-East Dundee) says given the state’s perpetual financial problems, Illinois should stop subsidizing events like the fair and let the free market do its job.

“I’m going to the fair to remind fellow elected officials that taxpayers should no longer subsidize events like this,” said Skillicorn. “Despite the state finally having a budget, which is a terribly unbalanced budget, Illinois is still running months behind on payments due to our massive debt and backlog of unpaid bills. So instead of spending taxpayer money on a fair like this, we should let the free market do what it does best and not put taxpayers on the hook anymore.”

The state spends roughly $6 million annually on the state fair, money Skillicorn noted could be going to pay down the state’s backlog of unpaid bills. According to research by the Illinois Policy Institute, between 2001 and 2009 the state lost nearly $42 million on the Illinois State Fair and DuQuoin State Fair. Given this history of losing money, despite state statute that says expenditures are not supposed to exceed revenue from the previous year’s fair, Skillicorn says it is time for a change of direction.

Skillicorn said that with the state’s long standing financial problems, every effort should be made to reduce spending and he is again doing his part by turning down per diem and mileage reimbursement for the latest session called by Speaker Madigan.

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