Boone's Saloon and the Golden Corral: Harrisburg superintendent has billed taxpayers more than $2,400 for trips to lobby state legislators
Saline County taxpayers have reimbursed Harrisburg School District Superintendent Mike Gauch $2,414 for trips he has made to Springfield to lobby legislators, according to expense reports obtained by the Southeast Illinois News.
The reimbursements included an $18 tab at Boone's Saloon in Springfield, a favorite haunt of legislators and lobbyists, and dinner for two at the Golden Corral steakhouse.
The expense reports were provided by Gauch himself in response to a Freedom of Information request. They detail 10 trips to Springfield since September 2015 for which he was reimbursed for meals and use of his personal vehicle at 57.5 cents per mile.
In an email, Gauch said these don't represent his only visits to the state Capitol.
"I have made many many more trips to Springfield than is listed, but do not turn in reimbursement for most of them," Gauch wrote. "You will also see attached the few receipts that I have submitted on trips to Springfield for meals.
"I have no receipts for hotels for any trips to Springfield that I have submitted or used the district credit card to secure. When I have had to stay at a hotel while in Springfield I have paid for those bills out of my own pocket," he wrote.
Last month, the Southeast Illinois News reported that Gauch and his wife, Angella, who collectively earn more than $220,000 per year in their taxpayer-funded positions, were lobbying the state legislature to increase income taxes.
They succeeded. The income tax increase passed in July will cost Saline County taxpayers an additional $5 million per year, according to state estimates.
Gauch alone earned about $148,073 last year.
The median income in Saline County was $38,258 in 2015.
Paid to lobby for a tax hike?
Harrisburg School District 3 Superintendent Mike Gauch has traveled more than 10 times to Springfield to lobby the state legislature to raise income taxes. How much have these trips cost taxpayers?
|Boone's Saloon||March 1, 2016||$18.17|
|Pizza Ranch||March 1, 2016||$12.47|
|Golden Corral||May 4, 2016||$19.73|
|Joe Gallinas Pizza||July 1, 2017||$7.32|
|Sept. 30, 2015||405||$232.88|
|Oct. 1, 2015||405||$232.88|
|March 1, 2016||414||$238.05|
|April 21, 2016||414||$238.05|
|May 3, 2016||410||$235.75|
|Jun 8, 2016||410||$235.75|
|July 27, 2016||410||$235.75|
|Feb. 22, 2017||407||$234.03|
|April 24, 2017||409||$235.18|
|June 31, 2017||414||$238.05|