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Today’s number: 20,100

Monday, Mar 24, 2014

* Bernie

According to figures from comprehensive annual financial reports of the State Employees’ Retirement System, the number of employees covered by that system was 81,680 as of June 30, 2002. That would be during the final year of Republican Gov. George Ryan’s single term. Back in 1994, when Republican Gov. Jim Edgar was on the way to winning his second term, the number was 78,440.

The big drop came by the summer of 2003, when the number fell nearly 11,500 from the previous year to 70,192. Most left under an early retirement initiative that thousands decided to take as Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich came into office.

The reported figure as of June 30, 2013 — which generally includes state workers other than legislators and judges in executive, legislative and judicial branches, but doesn’t include higher education institutions — was 61,545.

Thus, the number of state employees dropped by more than 20,100 people — nearly 25 percent of the workforce — from 2002 to 2013.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


70 Comments
  1. - Nonplussed - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 9:36 am:

    Makes sense. When you can receive State services from a kiosk or over the internet, you need less bodies. Plus, democratic, Chicago-centric administrations left a lot of Springfield jobs vacant.


  2. - Reality Check - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 9:43 am:

    Not to be too blunt, @Nonplussed, but that’s ignorant.

    The largest state agency is Human Services. Most of its work is caring for people with mental illnesses or profound developmental disabilities. That doesn’t happen over the Internet.

    DHS also provides food stamps, Medicaid and other benefits to people struggling to get by. That work is increasingly digitized but most folks in dire poverty don’t have computers or web access.

    The next largest agency is corrections. You don’t keep prisons safe, provide rehabilitative services or parole via Skype.

    Third largest agency is Children and Family Services. Sending emails to suspected abusers doesn’t protect kids.

    I could go on — how much time do you have?

    Wise up.


  3. - wordslinger - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 9:53 am:

    That’s a huge drop. I doubt many people in Illinois know that, or would believe it.


  4. - Downstate Illinois - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 9:56 am:

    You also can’t run state parks and historic sites from a kiosk. Without staff they stay closed, unmowed and otherwise neglected.


  5. - Downstate Illinois - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 9:58 am:

    This is what happens when Medicaid and retirement payments crowd out basic state spending. The question facing the next governor is how to we fulfill state functions with a workforce that never again will increase.


  6. - Cassandra - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 10:05 am:

    Folks in dire poverty can go to the library and use the computers there. In fact, I believe many already do. And this is the group which is in the greatest need of internet literacy if they are to improve their circumstances in the future. I do think that libraries should be funded to help people use the internet more effectively, thus empowering those who can’t afford to be online at home.

    The bottom line–you should never have to go someplace and stand in line to get a government benefit like food stamps, Medicaid, TANF, a housing voucher, unemployment, whatever.You should be able to do it online–and before too many decades pass, we’ll probably have no choice but to apply online.

    If that means fewer state employees, sorry. Government, as even our present guv has said, is not a jobs program.


  7. - mythoughtis - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 10:12 am:

    Nor does moving a job from Springfield to Chicago reduce the headcount statewide. Half of this drop is from the 2002 early retirement, as the article states. The other half of the drop is more likely due to attrition, hiring freezes, and the baby boomers reaching the various retirement ages (state, alternative formula, Social security, etc).

    It’s also due to the Illinois Citizens being reluctant to have a full state workforce because they somehow think they should get a full time, extremely efficient, extremely competent state work force without actually paying for it or being appreciativee of it.

    I wonder how much the unemployment would drop if we had a full state work force, with the ripples in spending and consumer purchases that would be made by those employees.


  8. - Tommydanger - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 10:13 am:

    As I recall, Illinois has one of the lower state employee per capita ratios. Kind of a weird contrast to the attempts to demonize state workers and their pensions.


  9. - Pensioner - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 10:13 am:

    ==Thus, the number of state employees dropped by more than 20,100 people — nearly 25 percent of the workforce — from 2002 to 2013.==

    AFSCME states IL has the fewest state employees per capita in the union.


  10. - Hit or Miss - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 10:13 am:

    ==the number of state employees dropped by more than 20,100 people==

    To me the real question is what is the change in government employees in Illinois? Illinois has more units of government than any other state in the union by a large margin. Did the total number of government decrease, stay the same, or increase? I wonder if Illinois simply moved some of the workers from the state payroll to county, city, township, or other local government unit payrolls?


  11. - SAP - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 10:14 am:

    So 25% fewer employees making contributions combined with who knows how many more retirees receiving benefits. No wonder the systems are underfunded.


  12. - Grandson of Man - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 10:16 am:

    Unions have been blamed for Illinois’ struggling economy. I checked some data and found that every other state with higher per capita union membership has lower unemployment. Some praise regional states for weakening unions and point to their unemployment numbers, but they neglect to mention states who didn’t strip unions and have lower unemployment rates, like Minnesota, Vermont, Hawaii, New York, etc.

    It’s ironic that the state’s economy is struggling in part because of the loss of unionized public jobs.


  13. - VanillaMan - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 10:23 am:

    Computers and modern office technology has easily replaced the 25% fewer state employees. As folks leave - they are usually not replaced and the slack is taken up by the survivors.

    Also, there are many jobs that have been contracted out, saving Illinois millions in costs. It is cheaper to contract with a church organization of volunteers, part-timers and non-profit workers, than it is to hire state workers.

    Finally, Illinois is not a growing state of young people. It is a state plateauing with an aging population. So, as Boomers stop spending on life, and begin saving in retirement, demands towards specific kinds of state employees to support that generation change also lessen.

    For the first time in history, there will be fewer Illinoisans as a percentage of US population, and there will be a smaller generation replacing the Boomers for the first time in Illinois history. We are not seeing immigration, legal or otherwise, in sufficient numbers to replace the dying Boomer generation.

    All these technological, managerial and demographic changes have impacted the number of state employees in Illinois.


  14. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 10:24 am:

    SAP, the ratio of actives/retirees is a factor in SERS’ underfunding. But let’s be clear, the State underfunding is far and away the primary cause of the current pension problem.
    If one would compare SERS to TRS or SURS where the active/retiree ratio has not been declining as rapidly, the systems have a higher funded ratio. (Investment performance also plays a role in this historical disparity, but that is a smaller factor over the very long run.)


  15. - Walker - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 10:27 am:

    Ironic.

    Illinois is already has “small government” in terms of employees per capita relative to other states, and is shrinking.

    Illinois is “low-spending” at the state level by the same measure.

    Illinois has a high rate of “outsourced” government services to private entities.

    Illinois has a “flat tax”.

    Illinois is not among the ten or so “high-tax states”, for businesses or for individuals.

    In other words, many of the key watchwords for the right-wing PACs, “Institutes” and pundits around the country already apply to Illinois — at least compared to most other states.

    Well, as they also say, that’s not working so well.

    We have our problems, sure, but the national “Conservative” talking points really don’t apply to them. And most of them are at other levels of government that few ever talk about.

    Their complaints about Illinois must be driven other things, like privatization of education, deregulation, protection of individual wealth, and anti-unionism.


  16. - Hoping for Rational Thought - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 10:29 am:

    Right now there are many applications from people in nursing homes awaiting Medicaid to determine their eligibility. Many are over 12 MONTHS OLD! DHS can’t identify how many are pending at that old…instead of do more with less we got do less with less.


  17. - Pensioner - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 10:29 am:

    ===Their complaints about Illinois must be driven other things, like privatization of education, deregulation, protection of individual wealth, and anti-unionism.===

    Spot on.


  18. - Retired Engineer - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 10:34 am:

    This is misleading. Most agencies are farming out more work to the private sector. Computer programming, engineering design, legal services,etc. The net cost may or may not be to the state’s advantage. A look at the overall agency budget is more telling than just counting heads.


  19. - Nonplussed - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 10:37 am:

    Reality Check: Not to be blunt, but open your eyes. We closed Mental Health, Developmental Disability and Correctional Centers.

    And you are ignorant equating being poor with being stupid. Anyone can use a computer with free internet access at a library and, more importantly, they do.

    Also, State workers are more efficient by being able to do more work every day electronically (read: paperless).


  20. - just asking - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 10:42 am:

    Whether it is good or bad that there are substantially fewer active employees, the fact that fewer are paying in while many of the previous higher population are getting benefits explains some of financial shortfall which some like to blame exclusively on the GA not properly funding pensions in the past.


  21. - Anonymous - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 10:44 am:

    ==Medicaid, TANF, a housing voucher, unemployment, whatever.You should be able to do it online–and before too many decades pass, we’ll probably have no choice but to apply online.==

    And you have just made it nearly impossible for the segment of the population that needs these benefits to receive them. Contrary to your beliefs @Cassandra you can’t do everything with technology.


  22. - Demoralized - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 10:45 am:

    Sorry. That was me above.


  23. - Demoralized - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 10:46 am:

    @Cassandra:

    Also, somebody would still have to process all of those applications. That’s takes actual humans. So, your idea is a failure there too.


  24. - Arizona Bob - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 10:50 am:

    I agree with Retired engineer on this one. Many Chicago and state jobs were “outsourced” so they don’t show up as “state employees” but the jobs are still there, often with the same employees that did them as direct hires to the state.

    Case in point. I knew a maintenance manager in his mid fifties working for Chicago and making about $100K with another $30K in benefits.

    On a Friday he retired, and I’m guessing his pension was about $60,000 since he didn’t work there a full 30+ years.

    On the following Monday, He started his new job…the same one he was doing on Friday.

    The difference now is that he was making $120K workng as a “consultant” through a politically connected company, who was charging about $330K for services.

    The cost for this guy went up from $130K to $390K over a weekend. The number of “city employees” went down. The politically connected consulting firm was making about $120K per year, of which about $40k got “kicked back” in campaign contributions to Hizzoners candidates.

    Works for everyone, right? Except the taxpayers.

    The price of government never goes DOWN. It just changes in form to increase crooked influence and political enrichment. I suspect the state employee drop woked similarly.


  25. - Anon - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 10:52 am:

    Once again the facts conflict with the whole GOP narrative is that state spending is out of control under the Tax-and-Spend Democrats.

    The fact is there are 20,100 fewer state employees than under the last Republican governor, and there are 17,000 fewer than there were in 1994 under Edgar. As usual, however, our GOP friends won’t acknowledge the inconvenient truth.


  26. - Frenchie Mendoza - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 11:07 am:

    I think this number — 20K — is astonishing. The fact that that many folks have left government — or that headcount has been reduced by that much — is amazing.

    No one says it — so I will: but it’s time that the folks that are still there — the actual working public servants — are applauded for their hard work instead of repeatedly vilified to suit every GOP, trickle-down narrative.

    And Cassandra — and everybody else — who rails on about “computer are taking over — as well they should”. Keep in mind that the IT folks paid to keep those “computers” running — or, even more, develop applications on those computers — cost a good deal of money. So, yeah, computers may replace workers but along with those computers come IT support staff.

    And IT support (and especially development) ain’t cheap — both in terms of labor and brainpower. If you want cutting edge websites and mobile apps, you need an apparatus to attract smart workers — and, better yet, retain and retrain those workers as technology changes.


  27. - Retired Engineer - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 11:10 am:

    Evaluating the size of government by counting employees is a waste of time. By looking at the headcount drop, Illinois should be rolling in cash. The employee numbers are only relevant to future funding of the retirement systems. When the employees with institutional knowledge bail out, the only source of talent is in the private sector.


  28. - Anyone Remember - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 11:11 am:

    Cassandra

    Here in Springfield the alderwoman who represents the biggest pocket of poor people tried, and failed, to expand library hours to give her constituents access to the internet.


  29. - Anyone Remember - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 11:14 am:

    Nonplussed

    If you think state offices are paperless, I’ve got some property with a view of a beach in Florida … . Seriously, state offices are still swimming in paper.


  30. - Anonymous - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 11:20 am:

    Obviously that 25% reduction in the workforce was a payoff to AFSCME by the Dem governors who they own, according to Bruce Rauner.
    Another stunning example that the billionaire plutocrat has no idea what he’s talking about.
    Great sound bites, but not a shred of evidence to back up his union/govt. bashing claims \


  31. - Anon - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 11:30 am:

    So the workforce shrinks by 25 percent, but that doesn’t matter?? Such denial is a partisan refusal to give credit to the Democrats for the unprecedented reduction. Republicans can’t admit that they had more bloated burocracies than the Dems.


  32. - illinifan - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 11:34 am:

    Things you can do from a kiosk (not): plow roads, feed persons with disabilities, guard prisoners, investigate crime scenes, repair roads, be at a hospital to see the bruises on an abused child, give shots, put out fires etc, etc, etc, Dealing with people sometimes requires human interaction….government employees often provide vital services, and often we don’t realize how much they do until we need them..


  33. - Norseman - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 11:37 am:

    Efficiencies can only be realized with proper planning and support. Neither of which existed in significant quantity in State government to overcome the loss of productivity due to lower headcount. In addition, you have the governor and legislators continuing to add mandates without adding the resources needed to implement them.


  34. - Retired Engineer - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 11:38 am:

    anon - You are missing the point. Headcount is only one piece of the pie. Ask the Auditor General to measure contractual services expenditures and I suspect you will find a different curve. I am not being political on this issue. I hate that IL government has lost its institutional knowledge.


  35. - Palm Tree - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 11:41 am:

    Anon 10:52
    = Once again the facts conflict with the whole GOP narrative is that state spending is out of control under the Tax-and-Spend Democrats.

    The fact is there are 20,100 fewer state employees than under the last Republican governor, and there are 17,000 fewer than there were in 1994 under Edgar. As usual, however, our GOP friends won’t acknowledge the inconvenient truth. =

    And yet the Democrats needed a giant 67% income tax increase and state spending this year is at record levels. But, hey, we have fewer employees.


  36. - wordslinger - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 11:48 am:

    So is privatization of services now a problem with the right wing? Pick a lane.


  37. - Pensioner - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 11:51 am:

    ===The difference now is that he was making $120K workng as a “consultant” through a politically connected company, who was charging about $330K for services.===

    So state employees really are cheaper? Make up your mind.


  38. - A guy... - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 11:55 am:

    The number is what the number is. Factor it into the equation. No more. No less.


  39. - Pensioner - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 11:59 am:

    ===While it would be a hard sell to try and get that vote, reminding them of how PQ tried to fix the state budget woes on their backs should suppress the anti-rauner vote. After all Quinns champion of labor badge looks pretty tarnished.===

    Granted, but better than the alternative.


  40. - Jake From Elwood - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 12:31 pm:

    Hmm. To me it makes sense that the same state with the fewest state workers per capita also has the most units of local government in the country. However, this point does not explain the drop of 20K state employees. I was surprised by this figure. The two state agencies I deal with most often have been run on the thinnest of margins for nearly a decade now.


  41. - Soccermom - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 12:31 pm:

    Here’s the problem — those staff reductions don’t necessarily translate to greater “efficiency,” because the people you lose may not be the people you want to lose.

    Taking an ax to the workforce is a recipe for disaster. You lose institutional knowledge, and often the people with the most choices are the ones who head for the door. Not to mention the effect on morale when you walk in the office and see all those empty desks that were once occupied by valued, able colleagues.

    Oh, but wait - none of that is true. I keep forgetting that my actual experience in government is not as significant as somebody else’s partisan talking points.


  42. - VanillaMan - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 12:33 pm:

    Wow - a lot of you folks haven’t a clue what state workers do. A 25% reduction in overall number was more than picked up by giving the remaining 75% a desktop, a smart phone, a lap top, or a tablet.

    Honestly - we’re talking about a workforce at the end of the Edgar Administration that didn’t even have Internet connection!

    What are you people talking about? You make it sound like no one is answering the phones - AND YOU KNOW WHAT? - we no longer have phones! It is the freaking 21st Century!

    Technologies have replaced a need for the thousands of people who used to do data tasks all day. Lawyers, economists and administrators no longer have support staff - that staff has been replaced with a computer. The work is still getting done.

    Institutional knowledge lost? Phooey. These folks retired, mostly. Perhaps they could tell us how we used to have giant rooms full of file cabinets, manila folders and fax machines - but otherwise - they could tell us who was having an affair with whom and when they used to wear suits, ties and nylons.

    Oh - and a lot of folks could probably tell us about the old days of boozing up fat lobbyists with fat legislators, instead of today where they are having lattes at the gym.


  43. - Curmudgeon - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 12:34 pm:

    “Folks in dire poverty can go to the library and use the computers there. … And this is the group which is in the greatest need of internet literacy if they are to improve their circumstances in the future. … you should never have to go someplace and stand in line to get a government benefit …”

    So instead of standing in line at a local Human Services office, they should stand in line at a library?

    Of course, that assumes they have some idea of how to use the keyboard & mouse, logon, access websites, etc. when they get to the head of the line. And in some rural areas, that also assumes there IS a library that’s open, that the library has an available computer, and that they have some means of travelling to the county seat or whichever town the library is located in.

    As to that contracting out, yeah, I’ve seen some BIG contracts going to well-connected companies, but I’ve also personally seen a lot of data entry, data retreival, data verification being done badly by untrained workers earning very low wages, which ultimately results in putting even MORE work on the professional employees who remain. Look at that recent Medicaid verification fiasco — about 2/3 of those “verifications” were quickly overturned.


  44. - Rusty618 - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 12:43 pm:

    I can see the number of state employees dropping even more very soon, as many will be jumping ship before the new pension law takes effect June 1, hoping that any ruling on it will not include them.


  45. - Soccermom - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 1:00 pm:

    Gosh. And here I was thinking that “institutional knowledge” included things like, oh, an understanding of the multiple funds in the $64 billion State budget, and their impacts on spending. Or a collegial explanation of how the projects in the capital bill are prioritized and disbursed. Or some kind of insights into which “loopholes” could possible be closed, and which ones have been the subject of failed attempts by every Governor since Lincoln.


  46. - Curmudgeon - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 1:05 pm:

    “Illinois has more units of government than any other state in the union by a large margin. … I wonder if Illinois simply moved some of the workers from the state payroll to county, city, township, or other local government unit payrolls?”

    Years ago I was taught that the large number of local/regional government units was due to severe limits on expansion of services imposed by the pre-1970 constitution. Thus the large number of single-purpose entities: drainage districts, mosquito abatement districts, soil & water conservation districts, road districts, port districts, special boards to run county fairs, resource conservation districts, and so on. Some of these special entities have few or no regular employees, may not be operational, or may have functions that could be consolidated into the County government.

    Then theres all those school districts which are included in the count — there’s still lots of separate districts for K-8 vs high school, and some very small districts. As far as I know, Kewanee, IL still has TWO separate districts serving K-12.


  47. - CollegeStudent - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 1:08 pm:

    ===For the first time in history, there will be fewer Illinoisans as a percentage of US population, and there will be a smaller generation replacing the Boomers for the first time in Illinois history. We are not seeing immigration, legal or otherwise, in sufficient numbers to replace the dying Boomer generation.===

    Illinois has lost at least one Congressional seat in every reapportionment cycle since 1940, with the exception of the 1970 cycle. Illinois’ percentage of the United States population has been shrinking for all of our lives.


  48. - Demoralized - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 1:10 pm:

    ==Institutional knowledge lost? Phooey==

    Whether you want to believe it or not, there is a knowledge drain when that many people leave. Sure, others eventually catch up but to say there was no knowledge lost is just nonsense.


  49. - john - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 1:22 pm:

    I agree with Illinifan. Jobs done by government workers:

    Corrections officer - fewer now, with more prisoners. Unsafe prisons.

    Parole officer - fewer now, largest caseloads in 2 decades

    State police officer - yes, because fewer of these makes sense and we have not been replacing the retirements fast enough

    Lab technicians - rape kits and other crime scene evidence have longest wait times in decades

    DD workers - people who take care of vulnerable population with severe disabilities.

    MH workers - State facilities who care for the criminally insane or temporary civil commits (28 days or less). Fewer beds and unstaffed beds and jails overcrowded with the mentally ill.

    Fire prevention/arson investigators - fewer than needed with many facilities behind on inspections. Less than 15 arson investigators in the state.

    Revenue agents/auditors - hundreds fewer than years ago, yet every one of them raises $8 for every $1 they cost. IDOR trying to hire more for years.

    DCFS - Child abuse prevention and investigation. Despite agency reorganization, we still have huge-almost in violation of the court decree-case loads. Fewer than 5 Spanish speaking child sex abuse investigators in all of Cook County.

    DES - the place where you process unemployment. 600 fewer workers than 4 years ago. Higher caseloads for each worker. Highest in decades.

    DNR - closed parks, invasive species, no guided hikes or education in most parks. Less than 200 workers to maintain 394 state parks.

    IDOT- snow plows and road crews.

    Human Service offices - fewer offices, more staff, and still huge backlogs on medicaid applications. All Medicaid, Food Stamps, etc applications and reviews need to be certified by a certified state employee according to federal law. Caseloads which the agency says are manageable at 600-700 are instead over 1800 on average per employee.

    These are just some examples of what state employees do and how few of them exist today causing real problems. There are other examples, which I am sure other commenters can point out.

    Automation accounts for some decline in workforce, VanillaMan, but certainly not the kinds listed above. There are 5,000 fewer IDOC guards in state prisons today than there were in 2002. That’s just one agency. The majority of the reduction in state employees has been in core services, not secretaries and clerks whose jobs are automated over time.


  50. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 1:22 pm:

    It is gonna get a whole lot worse, and not just in the government sector:

    Artificial intelligence could automate half of U.S. jobs in 20 years

    Sectors highlighted as hardest hit? Finance and legal.

    No one is really talking about what replacing half of our workforce with computers in the next generation could mean to the economy, and everybody should be.


  51. - DuPage - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 1:44 pm:

    I think a large number of open state jobs remain unfilled. They call in contractors, call in the National Guard (mechanics), defer a lot of maintenance, and generally try to do the same work with less people. They can only go so far with that, after a while the costs will avalanche.


  52. - gopower63 - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 1:56 pm:

    Um, what about all the OTHER IL gov’t employees?

    According to the US Census Bureau, in 2012, the State of Illinois had 103,578 full-time employees and 52,784 part-time employees. That’s state level. It does not include local gov’t, and you’ll recall that IL has the second largest number of local governmental bodies after California (which of course has more than three times our population).

    http://www2.census.gov/govs/apes/12stil.txt


  53. - MyTwoCents - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 2:00 pm:

    @Vman…we don’t have phones anymore? Tell that to the people who try the FOID hotline, or a better example, DCFS hotline:

    http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-07-08/news/ct-met-dcfs-hotline-20120708_1_abuse-hotline-director-richard-calica-dcfs-officials


  54. - gopower63 - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 2:01 pm:

    On the local side, IL has 440,118 full-time employees and 179,435 part-time ones.

    http://www2.census.gov/govs/apes/12locil.txt


  55. - DuPage - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 2:05 pm:

    john@1:22=rape kits and other crime scene evidence have longest wait time in decades=.

    I know a CSI. I have been told that distorted half truth is from some TV reporter trying to make a headline to boost their ratings.
    Very often the kits really don’t need to be tested because the woman knows who the guy is, and he admits it was him but says it was consensual. It is a “he said/she said” case and the test would not be needed. The lab sets those aside so they won’t delay the cases where the tests are needed ASAP. Those are cases of unknown assailant or the guy denies it was him.


  56. - Demoralized - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 2:26 pm:

    ==Um, what about all the OTHER IL gov’t employees?==

    Go back ad re-read the post. It doesn’t include legislators, judges or university employees.


  57. - Curmudgeon - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 2:31 pm:

    “Artificial intelligence could automate half of U.S. jobs in 20 years … No one is really talking about what replacing half of our workforce with computers in the next generation could mean to the economy, and everybody should be.”

    While you’re checking the hyperlink in Yellow Dog’s comment, also look up the following:
    1. Carrington Event
    2. Coronal Mass Discharge (CMD)
    3. Electro-magnetic Pulse (EMP).

    Yikes! Ya might wanna rethink that future …


  58. - Anon - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 2:32 pm:

    == state spending this year is at record levels. ==

    The fact that Illinois ranks among the five lowest spending states doesn’t matter to partisans convinced that Democrats are Big Spenders.

    == On the local side, IL has 440,118 full-time employees and 179,435 part-time ones.==

    Notice how fast Republicans stop talking about shrinking government when townships come up?


  59. - Concerned Voter - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 4:01 pm:

    First, THANK YOU Frenchie ,”No one says it — so I will: but it’s time that the folks that are still there — the actual working public servants — are applauded for their hard work instead of repeatedly vilified to suit every GOP, trickle-down narrative.”

    Second, Over that same period of time that the state employee headcount dropped, how much spending was increased for contracting out service and how much more are we spending on social service programs than we did way back when? And how much of that money was supposed to go to pension payments that the state conveniently skipped?


  60. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 4:42 pm:

    VM, paint with a broad brush much? Geez. I think it’s a settled question here and throughout State Government that part of the Blago admin’s failure was due to the mass exodus of seasoned, smart people (like Schnorf, for instance) in the 2002 ERI. You can poke fun at “institutional knowledge” all you want, but Mom is right.


  61. - RNUG - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 7:28 pm:

    - VanillaMan - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 10:23 am:

    Technology can’t replace real human caseworkers making actual home and school visits. And contracting out those services, such as DCFS has tried to do for decades, is just a recipe for disaster. Even Blago knew enough to actually hire hands on caseworkers.


  62. - RNUG - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 7:31 pm:

    - just asking - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 10:42 am:

    Fewer paying into the pension systems shouldn’t matter because, in theory, they are paying for THEIR future benefits. The money for currently owed benefits was supposed to have ALREADY been paid in. The problem is the State didn’t pay the full amount the State owed all these years, so part of the time the only money going in was the employee withholding. The difference being paid in because of fewer employees is a rounding error in the pension funning problem.


  63. - RNUG - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 7:37 pm:

    - Arizona Bob - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 10:50 am:

    While I agree with your point on the outsourcing, your pension calculation is off. For someone with a final average compensation of $100K ($100K average for last 3 years) and 30 years of service, that is 1.67% x 30 = 50% or $50K pension using your example.

    Also, remember that with outsourcing it is much easier to hit up the contractor for a campaign donation.


  64. - RNUG - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 7:46 pm:

    - Palm Tree - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 11:41 am:

    Part of the reason for the tax increase was Quinn stopped borrowing from the pension funding and actually insisted on paying the full amount required by the 1995 Pension Ramp plan. Quinn also tried, and partially succeeded, in catching up on the past dues bills that have, and continue, lapsed from year to year.

    The real truth is that the 67% increase was too little too late and the results from it were over promised. When you’re lapsing about $12B - $15B each year (as they were back then) and skipping on $2B - $3B of pension fund payments (total shortage between $14B - $18B per year in a given year), adding new revenue of only $4B - $5B doesn’t pay it off when just normal growth in existing programs also continues.

    Now the pols have a credibility because they under taxed and over promised …


  65. - RNUG - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 7:52 pm:

    - VanillaMan - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 12:33 pm:

    With all due respect, institutional knowledge also includes all the nuances of the various program rules, the legal compliance thereof, how the state procurement process works, etc. That is not something that is easily coded into a program, plus it also evolves every year in response to legislative mandates. No way, no how does the State have the money to implement that kind of technology, let alone maintain it and modify it every year …


  66. - wordslinger - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 9:06 pm:

    –Part of the reason for the tax increase was Quinn stopped borrowing from the pension funding and actually insisted on paying the full amount required by the 1995 Pension Ramp plan.–

    RNUG, there’s a new breed of alleged “conservative” out there that doesn’t want to pay for services already rendered.

    Why? Because they don’t wanna.

    We used to call them “deadbeats, ” or worse, back in the day.

    Apparently, that behavior has gotten respectable in some circles.


  67. - Arthur Andersen - Monday, Mar 24, 14 @ 9:24 pm:

    RNUG, the reason the actives/retirees ratio makes a difference is because of the underfunding. You are theoretically correct. But as a practical matter, with a 30% funded ratio and huge negative cash flow, creeping toward a 1/1 ratio of people paying in-paying out is not structurally sound. With full funding and much more cash in the bank, investment income, the greatest source of funds for all the systems, can provide a much better cushion.


  68. - PublicServant - Tuesday, Mar 25, 14 @ 7:26 am:

    Well the dilemma for me is that I want to punish Quinn and the loser democratic politicians of this state who abandoned the middle class state employees and voted for pension theft as the “conservative”-types that Wordslinger refers to above advocated. Hint, if you’re voting with the Civies, you’re on the wrong side of most any issue. The other part of me hates that Rauner, without saying anything of substance at all in the primary, won it by drowning out everyone else with his cash (thanks again Supremes for CU!), without actually saying anything.

    So, I’m writing in the Wordslinger/Arthur Anderson ticket on the ballot come November.


  69. - PublicServant - Tuesday, Mar 25, 14 @ 7:31 am:

    On the other hand, as RNUG points out, Quinn is the only one who actually made the required payment according to the pension ramp law in place…So, as others have said, I guess I’ll hold my nose and vote for Quinn, just to make sure that Darth Vader Rauner doesn’t succeed in buying the Governorship.


  70. - Twitter.Com - Wednesday, Mar 26, 14 @ 10:15 am:

    Hello there! Do you know if they make any plugins to assist with Search Engine Optimization?
    I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I’m not seeing very good gains.
    If you know of any please share. Kudos!


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