Last updated: 05:07 PM ET, Mon March 23 2015

Illinois Governor Proposes $8.4 Million in Tourism Budget Cuts

Features & Advice | Donald Wood | March 23, 2015

Illinois Governor Proposes $8.4 Million in Tourism Budget Cuts

Image courtesy of Thinkstock/Niyazz

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has revealed his budget proposal for the next fiscal year, and the travel industry is taking note of the major cuts to the state’s tourism promotions funding.

According to Jordan Maddox of, Rauner proposed cutting $8.4 million from the Illinois tourism budget. The cuts would include the Bloomington-Normal Area Convention and Visitors Bureau reducing their budgets and many other possible drawbacks with ramifications on jobs across the state.

Southernmost Illinois Tourism Bureau executive director, Cindy Cain, told, “In the governor's budget, tourism wasn't zeroed out like other programs, which is encouraging. Those cuts will be felt and realized in southern Illinois. However, hopefully, they are not going to be to the extent [of] other agencies and programs.”

Governor Rauner’s proposal would cut the funding for tourism promotions $50.4 million to $42 million. The sizable budget cut has people all over the state concerned. Those in Decatur are concerned about the attendance of the Farm Program Show without proper advertising.

Another major concern is from the Quad Cities. Officials claim that reductions could result in visitors going to surrounding states instead of traveling to Illinois. One city not worried too much by the cuts is Chicago, and Chicago Southland Convention and Visitors Bureau, Jim Garrett, told Maddox, “Chicago is probably the place to go for a destination driver.”

Governor Rauner’s spokeswoman Catherine Kelly said the budget proposal corrects overspending, and “this budget helps restructure the core of state government and put the state back on a fiscally-sustainable path. This is the budget we can afford.”

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