Senate Democrats: agencies must explain warehouse deals

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois Democrats are asking Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration for more information about state leases of private warehouses. The Senate Appropriations Committee questioned agency directors Thursday over decisions to lease property instead of using existing state buildings to store records. Department of Human Services officials say safety concerns prompted moving records in February from a former prison to a Springfield warehouse under a $2.4 million five-year lease. A second warehouse will store records for the Illinois Department of Transportation at $277,000 per year. Michael Hoffman is director of the Department of Central Management Services. He says many state-owned properties are poorly maintained. He also says the budget impasse makes it harder for CMS to be competitive with private contracts. Democrats say officials failed to provide all the details they requested.