SPRINGFIELD - Your tax dollars are paying for the Executive Mansion in Springfield, but Governor Quinn isn't living there.
A Chicago Tribune investigation says he only spent 55 nights at the mansion in his first year in office.
It also says Governor Quinn never stayed more than three consecutive nights.
Taxpayers are footing the $500,000 bill. That's how much it costs to keep the mansion open every year.
But the building is empty sometimes because Quinn lives primarily in Chicago, and old equipment often forces it to close.
WMBD's Twin Cities Bureau Chief Jacob Long talked with Governor Quinn and his Republican opponent State Senator Bill Brady to get some answers.
Brady says, "A Governor needs to be in Springfield, visiting face to face."
Quinn says, "I want to be the strongest voice for downstate Illinois than any Governor has ever been."
Governor Pat Quinn defends his use of what he calls the "people's house." He says lives there when he's in Springfield.
He doesn't live there when he's conducting state business elsewhere, but that doesn't mean he's neglecting the Executive Mansion.
"It has to be maintained obviously. We don't want it to fall into disrepair. I'd like to see the mansion become one of the greenest houses in Illinois," Quinn says.
The 155-year-old mansion hosts nearly 300 events a year. Space is available to rent, but the 40-year-old equipment is deteriorating.
It's so bad several events have been canceled, and the public has been turned away.
When that happens, the state loses money that normally helps offset taxpayer funded maintenance costs.
Senator Brady says, "We'll take care of the mansion. We'll make sure it's taken care of."
The state budget current under consideration sets aside $75,000 for mansion repairs. The mansion curator says it really needs $12 million.
"We'll find the support. Hopefully, it comes from outside the tax dollars to keep it in the shape it needs to be kept, but that's not my first priority," Brady says.
Republican Gubernatorial candidate State Senator Bill Brady promises to live at the Executive Mansion with his wife if elected in November.
He says, "I don't think Governor Quinn or former Governor Blagojevich can manage well when they spend as much time as they do in Chicago."
The Executive Mansion might not be Illinois' most pressing issue, but it is one you're paying for.
The Tribune investigation shows Jim Edgar is the last Governor to live at the mansion full-time.
George Ryan lived there part-time.
Rod Blagojevich spent most of his time in Chicago.