Saturday, June 28, 2008
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Area lawmakers blast governor's move of IDOT jobs

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[June 28, 2008]  SPRINGFIELD -- Gov. Rod Blagojevich traveled to Harrisburg on Friday to formally announce the move of 150 Department of Transportation jobs from Springfield.

HardwareThe governor made the announcement despite the fact that the General Assembly's bipartisan Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability has yet to conduct hearings on the move and take a stand on whether it's justified.

State Sen. Larry Bomke, R-Springfield, commented: "Today's announcement of the job relocation is just another shameful example of the governor's blatant misuse of power. I hoped that the governor would show some decency, but I'm disappointed to see that he has not. "

Bomke, along with state Reps. Rich Brauer, R-Petersburg, and Raymond Poe, R-Springfield, have all commented on the lack of planning that has gone into this proposed move and have questioned the decision to displace so many families who have made their homes in Springfield.


"There is no reasonable explanation for the move of these jobs," stated Brauer. "The governor has already attempted to move the state capital to Chicago. Now, he's moving the jobs to locations outside of Springfield, as well. Furthermore, I find it difficult to believe that they are incapable of finding affordable office space here in Springfield, with tens of thousands of square feet available at prices far below market averages."

Poe went on to note that the governor has been indecisive about where the final home of Department of Transportation jobs will actually be. "First it was Benton, now Harrisburg. It doesn't appear that the governor actually has any definite plans for the move of these positions," Poe commented.

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According to state law, the governor is restricted in his ability to send state government work out of the capital city. The statute requires all essential work to be done in the seat of government: Springfield.

The only exemptions to this statute are an epidemic of disease or public danger. Since neither of these conditions exists, the lawmakers are inquiring as to why the decision was made to move the Traffic Safety Division of IDOT away from its present site, currently located in Springfield's IDOT headquarters.

"State government has been a major industry in Springfield for over 100 years, and moving these positions hurts both the city and the individuals who depend upon these jobs for their livelihood," Poe said.


"With the jobless rate in Springfield at an 18-year high of 5.1 percent, now is a terrible time to consider the move of these positions," Bomke added. "I want the citizens in my district to know that I will do everything in my power to persuade the governor to keep these positions here."

The commission will conduct a public hearing July 31 in Springfield to make a final decision on the move of jobs.

[Text from file sent on behalf of Sen. Larry Bomke by Illinois Senate Republican staff]


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