Thursday, March 6
Governor appoints former soldier to
head Department of Veterans' Affairs
[MARCH 6, 2003]
CHICAGO -- On Wednesday,
Gov. Rod Blagojevich announced his choice of Vietnam veteran Roy L.
Dolgos as director of the state's
Department of Veterans'
Affairs. Dolgos, 58, will lead an agency that coordinates with
the federal government to provide benefits, education and nursing
care to Illinois veterans and their families.
"Mr. Dolgos knows
firsthand what our veterans gave up to serve their country,” said
the governor, who served on the U.S. House Armed Services Committee
while in Congress.
“His background as a soldier and his
professional experience as a manager put him in a unique position to
address the needs and concerns of Illinois' veterans."
Dolgos served in the
U.S. Army as a military policeman from 1966 to 1968. He earned a
Bronze Star for his outstanding service under hostile conditions in
Vietnam. He is involved with numerous veterans' groups, including
the 196th Light Infantry Brigade Association; the Vietnam Veterans
of America, Chapter 242; the 9th Infantry Division Association; and
the Chicago Commission on Human Relations' Advisory Council on
In 1972, Dolgos earned his bachelor's
degree in business administration from Central Connecticut State
University. Dolgos, of Chicago, is currently a manager for the Inter
Parking Corporation, overseeing facility finances and operations.
Previously, he served as general manager, secretary and treasurer
for Arrow Illinois Company.
Government News Network
New reforms hit state
Cash-ins of vacation time restricted
[MARCH 6, 2003]
SPRINGFIELD -- On Wednesday,
Gov. Rod Blagojevich instituted important reforms of a system that
has allowed state employees to run up unused vacation time and cash
in at a cost to the state that amounts to hundreds of millions of
The governor issued
an administrative order on Wednesday calling for new restrictions on
employees to eliminate the possibility of a repeat of the kinds of
enormous bonanzas that some employees of the previous administration
received as a result of stockpiling vacation time.
The move is intended
to address recent reports that have come to light showing that some
employees of the previous administration received enormous
single-time payouts, representing many years' -- and, in some cases,
decades' -- worth of unused vacation time at a cost of tens of
thousands of dollars each. According to available records, a large
number of payouts -- at least 140 -- were reportedly as high as
$50,000 to $90,000.
have indicated that the total cost to the state could be as much
Blagojevich said that
the large payouts to members of the previous administration
represented further evidence of the "blatant manipulation of the
system" by people with firsthand knowledge of how state government
operates and who possessed "a cavalier attitude toward the
administrative order, Blagojevich will set a ceiling on the number
of vacation days that state employees working under his office and
not covered currently by the state's personnel code can carry over
from year to year. He will institute a strict limit of only five
vacation days per year that those employees -- both within the
governor's office and in other state agencies who report to him --
will be allowed to carry over until the next year.
The move represents a
departure from the previous administration's practice, where
employees could roll over unused vacation days with very few limits.
The restrictions that did exist in theory at least, such as nominal
stipulations that vacation time could not accumulate for more than a
certain number of years, were essentially meaningless because
exemptions were routinely granted.
Blagojevich made it
clear that no such exemptions to the limits will be granted by him
or his administration.
Blagojevich said that
his administration is also launching an investigation of the
circumstances surrounding large payouts people received under the
Ryan administration. Blagojevich said his administration will
explore remedies to recoup the money or penalize people who
exploited the system to receive such high amounts.
More than 140 Ryan
administration employees who received payouts of $50,000 or more --
some receiving payments of as much as $90,000 -- will be reviewed.
Some left government employment briefly and then returned to the
public payroll before receiving the payouts.
[to top of second column in
"Only insiders, only
people with a detailed knowledge of the inner workings of state
government, could have exploited the system so effectively and so
cynically to suit their own ends," the governor said, describing the
actions of some of those who received extraordinarily high sums of
Blagojevich took Wednesday are in keeping with the ongoing series of
significant reform measures that the administration has taken to
Since taking office
in January, Blagojevich has taken several steps to bring change and
a businesslike approach to state government and to closely examine
state expenditures -- even those that are the result of
long-established spending practices.
Last week, he called
on departments and agencies to cut, on average, 10 percent in
administrative costs, a move that could save $30 million this year
and $125 million in fiscal 2004. He also placed an additional $1.7
billion worth of this year's operations costs, grants and capital
projects in reserve.
Also last week, he
unveiled an innovative plan to
refinance the state's pension
obligation and apply approximately $1.9 billion to the deficit. He
also called for major reforms of the state's current lineup of
boards and commissions, eliminating 11 boards through executive
order and announcing legislation to cut all pay at another 11
boards, eliminating stipends and per diems, cutting 120 seats, and
consolidating another four boards into two.
Earlier in his
administration, he froze payments for legislative member initiative
projects, imposed a
hiring freeze on all agency directors, called
for measures to
reduce administrative costs at state universities,
prohibited heads of departments and agencies from acquiring new
cars, initiated a review of whether the high-paid positions held by
term appointees are essential to the operation of state government,
and canceled costly
lobbying contracts with Washington, D.C.-based
Wednesday that he would continue his agenda to bring change to state
"As examples continue to come to our
-- of waste, of an old and cynical way of doing business, of wasting
taxpayers' money in a supercilious way -- we will continue to act,"
Government News Network
Articles from the past week
storm to affect parts of central Illinois
tonight through Wednesday morning
Council hears reports from EDC,
Team up with
friends for MS Walk
Winter storm to affect
parts of central Illinois Tuesday night (posted Monday
Illinois Senate to address medical liability insurance crisis
Doctors demonstrate at state Capitol
Senate week in review: Feb. 24-28
New head of Department of Insurance named
Ephedra is a
HHS acts to reduce potential risks of dietary
supplements containing ephedra
New Habitat house will go to Mount Pulaski
Some that still don't get it, got it
Relay For Life, a team event to fight cancer
Bomke, Brauer to open Lincoln office
Refinancing pension fund could save $2 billion and close gap on
& Learning |
and Family |
& Courts |
Leisure Time |
Life | Health
& Fitness |
to the Editor