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*** UPDATED x1 - GOMB disputes numbers *** Today’s number: 3,000

Thursday, Dec 18, 2014

* From Fox 55

But Downtown Springfield, Inc says over the last decade, almost 3,000 state jobs that were once in downtown Springfield have relocated with the majority moving to Cook County. “That’s a huge deficit to our area and it’s really been felt. It’s felt in morale of our city, it’s felt economically, the energy is different,” said Victoria Ringer of Downtown Springfield, Inc.

Now, Ringer says there’s 17,000 state employees in Cook County compared to 13,000 in Sangamon County.

“Property tax values have been affected, the sales tax of people not buying that greeting card, or that cup of coffee, or paying for parking or what have you. That’s a huge impact of those 2,600 bodies missing downtown,” Ringer said. […]

Springfield mayor Mike Houston says when he first served as mayor from 1979 through 1987, most agency directors lived in Springfield. “When you have agency directors right here in the community, they can have a very major, important impact on our future. And that’s what I’m really looking forward to having in the community again,” said Houston.

*** UPDATE *** The Governor’s Office of Management and Budget disputes the split between Cook and Sangamon and sent these numbers along which were painstakingly researched over several months…

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Phenomynous - Thursday, Dec 18, 14 @ 11:06 am:

    Shake this up, please.

  2. - Wordslinger - Thursday, Dec 18, 14 @ 11:15 am:

    Yeah, Springfield is a wee bit parochial.

    Believe it or not, people in some towns across Illinois have to figure a way to make a buck outside of government.

    For crying out loud, you have half of state government jobs, the Dome, the fairgrounds, the Lincoln sites and a state university.

    That’s not enough? Too bad. Make something that somebody wants to buy.

  3. - Norseman - Thursday, Dec 18, 14 @ 11:18 am:

    I don’t see a lot of these jobs coming back. During the next 4 years there will probably more job losses.

  4. - SME STATE ADMIN - Thursday, Dec 18, 14 @ 11:18 am:

    Many families were negatively affected by the movement of long term employees to the Chicago area.

  5. - Cassandra - Thursday, Dec 18, 14 @ 11:20 am:

    Be interesting to hear the Rauner response. I didn’t get the idea from his presser that creating lots more state jobs anywhere was a priority, for his first term anyway.

    But why are these jobs in Chicago. Political patronage? Easier to get skilled employees in Chicago? Agency directors want to live there? We know the world is urbanizing rapidly. Just part of that trend?

  6. - railrat - Thursday, Dec 18, 14 @ 11:20 am:

    Hey Ms. Ringer !! a dang sight better than relocated to Indiana, Missouri, Iowa or Wisconsin what would “city morale” look like then ? “word” says it all, Too bad !!

  7. - Juice - Thursday, Dec 18, 14 @ 11:21 am:

    Since the Republicans were last in the mansion, the State workforce has shrunk by nearly 20,000 people. 3,000 jobs have not been moved from downtown Springfield to Chicago. State government simply shed those jobs, and many more. This Springfield inferiority complex needs to stop.

  8. - VanillaMan - Thursday, Dec 18, 14 @ 11:22 am:

    Illinois is abandoning its state capitol. Either move it to where it ought to be, or put it back. 250 miles between Chicago and Springfield didn’t used to be a big deal fifty years ago. Considering our advances in communications and travel, there shouldn’t be any problem today either.

    Either return the government jobs to the state capitol, or move the state capitol.

  9. - girllawyer - Thursday, Dec 18, 14 @ 11:22 am:

    Right on, Wordslinger. Why would anyone expect that most state jobs would be in the state capital? The capital should be focused on the private sector. State jobs belong 200 miles from the capital because…um, because Chicago is big.

  10. - Juice - Thursday, Dec 18, 14 @ 11:31 am:

    Umm…girllawyer, yes. If you are a DHS caseWorker, and your job involves working with clients about various state programs, or a DCFS investigator, or a DOC parole officer, it is critically important that you be located in an office in the state Capitol, in stead of where the people actually are.

  11. - Very Fed Up - Thursday, Dec 18, 14 @ 11:32 am:

    This trend should be reversed. Along with being the state capitol everything is a lot more expensive in Chicago.

    Buildings, cost of living, maintenance etc. Every effort should be made to move functions back to Springfield and close shop in Chicago.

  12. - Sir Reel - Thursday, Dec 18, 14 @ 11:36 am:

    Downtown Springfield should focus on keeping what State jobs there are in Springfield in downtown Springfield. New State office buildings outside downtown (new DNR building on the north side of the fairgrounds, new IEMA building next to the IDOT building, etc.) are hurting downtown Springfield. The Capitol complex concept is no more.

  13. - Name Withheld - Thursday, Dec 18, 14 @ 11:38 am:

    Interesting point on that graph: It covers 2009-2014, while the article talks about jobs lost over a decade. Would be interested to see how the graph would look over the same time span.

  14. - RNUG - Thursday, Dec 18, 14 @ 11:43 am:

    Ryan actually started the movement, but under Blago and Quinn there was a real effort to move state jobs to Chicago / Cook in an attempt to make Chicago the defacto capitol. (Note: 11,000 jobs were lost due to the 2002 ERI and a lot of them were in Springfield.)

    IMO, this was bad for the State because you have to pay higher salaries / put people in higher job titles to get the same skill set as downstate. The increased salaries drive increased pension costs. Plus support costs like office space, etc. is often higher in Chicagoland.

    I could be wrong, but I thought I heard Rauner say in one of his speeches he would reverse that and again make Springfield the State Capitol.

  15. - Been There - Thursday, Dec 18, 14 @ 11:46 am:

    ===Make something that somebody wants to buy.====
    I don’t drink coffee myself but I see those Bunn coffee makers everywhere. But too bad they haven’t figured out a way to ship those horseshoes around the world and still keep them tasty.

  16. - Wordslinger - Thursday, Dec 18, 14 @ 11:53 am:

    Girl, obviously there’s a much larger labor pool to draw upon. The idea is to get the right people for the job, right?

    The Springfield parochial complaints have been going on forever. Be thankful for what you have.

    Anybody notice Rauner said he ain’t moving into the mansion? That didn’t take long, lol.

  17. - Arizona Bob - Thursday, Dec 18, 14 @ 12:02 pm:

    The department offices are best located where the services are provided, and where the groups needing to work with government are found. For example it makes sense that departments for financial markets, bond services and K-12 education be located in or near Chicago because that’s where the financial and legal professionals are and where the bulk of the K-12 education community is.

    Agriculture probably makes more sense downstate.

    the “downsizing” of government employee levels is both prudent and necessary due to use of technology.

    Back in the 1970s we had what politically incorrectly called “secretarys” who did all the filing (everything was hard copy)and typing. Every manager had their own “secretary” and there was typically one for every 5 or 6 professionals. they’re all pretty much gone now, as should be many of the state clerical staff.

    What it took a team of 4 engineers and 6 designer s to do in the 1970s can now be done with about half that number. The increased productivity allowed for decent raises.

    Just about the only professiona that hasn’t become more effeceint and have costs reduced due to technology is public education. Class sizes are a fraction of what they were, administration and clerical staffs have skyrocketed, as well as costs per pupil at least prtially becasue they’re so overfunded in states like Illinois and improving efficiency isn’t required to give fat raises and benefit increases because of statutory privileges, like the ability to strike for greed even when there’s no money available for union demands, granted by Springfield.

    Costs per pupil should be down by at least 30% due to productivity gains form technology today, but the “buggy whip” employee protections in public ed keep the benefits from happening.

    That’s why we need to cut funding to public ed and create the new paradigms using technology for 21st century ed.

  18. - Anonymous - Thursday, Dec 18, 14 @ 12:10 pm:

    - Anybody notice Rauner said he ain’t moving into the mansion? -

    C’mon word, I’m sure if your elevator was broken you’d find some temporary digs until it was repaired.

  19. - Bogey Golfer - Thursday, Dec 18, 14 @ 12:14 pm:

    Millenials want to live in Chicago. So if the state wants to hire 20-somethings, think Springfield is a draw? Also agree with Arizona Bob - the state agencies that interact with people need to be where the people are.

  20. - Give Me A Break - Thursday, Dec 18, 14 @ 12:27 pm:

    The Sangamon County GOP built their party around state jobs. For years they controlled state jobs from their county headquarters, when Blago came in they threw a hissy fit and continue to do so.

    Guess what kids, the days of Irv Smith and Bill Cellini calling the shots on state hires are over. And they are not coming back. What you use to be able to do, you know have Irv make a call and bingo the alderman’s cousin goes to work, will now get the attention of the EOIG. And I’m not talking about double exempt jobs, I’m talking about the rank-and-file state workers who you built your party on.

    For too long, Sangamon county residents have viewed a state job as their own God given right.

  21. - Precinct Captain - Thursday, Dec 18, 14 @ 12:34 pm:

    Kaskaskia, Vandalia, Springfield. Nothing is forever.

  22. - Enviro - Thursday, Dec 18, 14 @ 12:47 pm:

    Or maybe people are paying less money for greeting cards or coffee because they are spending it on video gambling and lotto. This is probably as true for Cook County as is it is for other counties in Illinois. Just a thought.

  23. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Dec 18, 14 @ 1:01 pm:

    There is no question that the decline in state employees impact economies where they are located.

    However, cuts in units of local government have been more damaging, I suspect. You just don’t see them as easily.

    And I don’t know why we would rely on anyone’s self-reporting.

    The BLS tracks this, I believe.

  24. - Demoralized - Thursday, Dec 18, 14 @ 1:16 pm:

    I don’t have a problem with state jobs being in Chicago necessarily. The big problem I have is when there are senior level people who work out of Chicago when their agencies are based in Springfield.

  25. - Millennium - Thursday, Dec 18, 14 @ 1:17 pm:

    -Millennials want to live in Chicago-

    Millennials want to live in Chicago for a few reasons other than “because it’s the city.” 1. For many recent grads their parents are in the suburbs so home is close by. DSI, Rauner, and the GA can’t fix that issue. 2. The State University here is concentrating efforts to move online, and the campus is secluded from the rest of Springfield. A bad experience as an undergrad will make you want to leave immediately. DSI and the University have an opportunity to retain these students and focus on retention instead of an online education. 3. It is impossible to get a job working for the state as a recent college grad. Due to the amount of internal transfers and promotions, a title hardly ever gets to the point where they need an applicant “off the street.” With the way the grading system works and military preferences a 20 something with a Master’s degree that wants to do something other than answer a phone will never be considered for a position they are likely just as or more qualified for than the state employees taking these titles. That is an issue that Rauner can solve.

    Qualified Millennials (like myself) will come to school, work, and stay in Springfield if there are job opportunities for them. It will take more government jobs here to get industry to follow. If industry execs want access, they will come. If Springfield wants Millennials to come and stay, a job environment worth relocating for needs to be established first.

  26. - Joe Schmoe - Thursday, Dec 18, 14 @ 1:17 pm:

    The charts provided by the gov’s office should really go back over the last 12 years. It will show that a significant percentage of state jobs have shifted from Springfield to Chicago. The exodus from Springfield really picked up when Blago took office - none of his directors (nor he) had any interest in living (or working) in the Capitol city.

  27. - Demoralized - Thursday, Dec 18, 14 @ 1:21 pm:

    ==the “downsizing” of government employee levels is both prudent and necessary ==

    It’s already happened. On a large scale.

    ==That’s why we need to cut funding to public ed==

    Ahh, Bob’s favorite whipping boy. Public education. If we would only listen to Bob’s brilliant advice all would be unicorns and rainbows. Of course Bob’s answer to everything is to cut, cut, cut. Because that will certainly lead to better outcomes in education. Of course the rest of us live in the real world. Join us sometime Bob. It’s great here. Dope.

  28. - Filmmaker Professor - Thursday, Dec 18, 14 @ 1:31 pm:

    Having lived south of I-80 for the past 29 years, I can tell you that the whining about Chicago is endless and never stops.

  29. - Ahoy! - Thursday, Dec 18, 14 @ 1:44 pm:

    I believe both Ringer and GOMB have wrong numbers. IDES might be a good third party for a more accurate number.

  30. - steve schnorf - Thursday, Dec 18, 14 @ 1:45 pm:

    two things: One, I need to hear more about the Ryan administration starting tie move to Chicago.
    Two, most big state agencies operate in Springfield, the major exception being Employment Security. Leaders need to be where their operations are. They need to exercise management by walking around. If the directors aren’t in Springfield, they aren’t going to know much about the agency they are running.

  31. - vole - Thursday, Dec 18, 14 @ 1:51 pm:

    Still are a lot of state retirees in Spring patch, no? Contributing to the local economy.

    I always wondered how all the state employees in Springfield impacted on the cost of living in Springfield, particularly in health care costs.
    Would the building of the hospital complexes, Springfield Clinic, etc. have occurred without that big pool of employees with excellent health care benefits? The cost of health care has risen significantly. For those with individual insurance policies with high deductibles the health care complex just about drove them out of the market (OK, speaking for me). Was this partly a local phenomenon created with the largesse of state taxpayers? Always wondered especially when I got those big bills from Springfield Clinic. I have since moved my health business outside the Springfield market area.

  32. - Anyone Remember - Thursday, Dec 18, 14 @ 2:04 pm:

    Curious about how many of the job Downtown Springfield “lost” actually were relocated elsewhere in Springfield. Should one peruse the minutes of the Procurement Policy Board, they would discover Member Ed Bedore is on a tear to reduce state leasing costs. For example, after moving ISP to the Franklin Building (some of those workers came from the Armory), there is still “empty space” that Mr. Bedore is on a crusade to fill. In fact, Mr. Bedore’s zeal has led him to tangle with a Springfield businessman over the topic.

  33. - Phenomynous - Thursday, Dec 18, 14 @ 2:06 pm:


    How is the air up there? (And I don’t mean in Chicago)

    I will remember your advice of “Be thankful for what you have” as I believe it will be applicable to so many spending scenarios in the upcoming future.

  34. - Rowdy Yates - Thursday, Dec 18, 14 @ 2:50 pm:

    Maybe the reality is that Springfield is no longer relevant to what really happens in the state of Illinois? Things change and we have to be able to adapt to these changes. What was relevant 150 years ago is not necessarily relevant today. Vandalia is no longer the state capitol. That change probably got folks upset as well.

    When Rich Miller puts his house in Springfield up “For Sale” and he buys a home up in the Cook County area, then I will know that reality and common sense are entering the state government picture and that “real change is in the air”.

  35. - Demoralized - Thursday, Dec 18, 14 @ 4:06 pm:

    ==That’s not enough? Too bad.==

    Hey Word. The state capital is SPRINGFIELD. Don’t like it? Lobby to move it.

  36. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Dec 18, 14 @ 4:15 pm:

    === The state capital is SPRINGFIELD.===

    Yep, but that doesn’t necessarily mean everything needs to be there. The CIA, for instance, isn’t headquartered in DC.

  37. - Demoralized - Thursday, Dec 18, 14 @ 4:18 pm:

    I don’t think everything needs to be in Springfield. It’s a big state. State government needs to be all around it in one form or another.

    Hey, I’d be happy if the people running the agencies located in Springfield actually lived and worked in Springfield. That’s the biggest problem in my book.

  38. - Federalist - Thursday, Dec 18, 14 @ 4:30 pm:

    Even the Judges often meet in Chicago.

    The state Capital is Chicago for all practical purposes.

    It superficially appears to me that this is something the Democrats have pushed over the pastdecade or so.

    Maybe I am wrong?

    Does anyone know when this movement of state workers to Chicago began in significant numbers?

    When did the Supreme Court start holding extensive sessions in Chicago rather than Springfield?

    Quinn pledged to live in the executive mansion but really. Blago almost never. Ryan quite a bit although he had a Kankakee home also. Edgar used it almost exclusively.

    If anybody has any real insight into this, please respond. Maybe it is not political. It will be interesting to see Rauner’s approach on allof this.

  39. - Federalist - Thursday, Dec 18, 14 @ 4:33 pm:


    You say that state jobs have been reduced by 20,000 since Republicans left Office.

    Where did you obtain that data? A real question and not a disguised snarky comment.

  40. - Neglected stepchild - Thursday, Dec 18, 14 @ 4:33 pm:

    There should be relatively few state jobs in Chicago. The seat of government in Illinois is Springfield, not Chicago.

  41. - A. Hack - Thursday, Dec 18, 14 @ 4:34 pm:

    The old GOP way was to have Cellini GOP bureaucrats like Bill Mitchell, who was a bureaucrat at Public Aid, become a state rep. From career GOP bureaucrat to career GOP politician. What Spfld loves.

  42. - RNUG - Thursday, Dec 18, 14 @ 6:53 pm:

    Federalist - Thursday, Dec 18, 14 @ 4:30 pm:

    The ISC judges moved to Chicago for a year plus while their Springfield offices were being renovated.

  43. - RNUG - Thursday, Dec 18, 14 @ 7:01 pm:

    - Federalist - Thursday, Dec 18, 14 @ 4:30 pm:

    Your mansion point is valid. Even with Edgar, I believe that was his only place to live until he built a house near Athens.

  44. - Federalist - Thursday, Dec 18, 14 @ 7:57 pm:


    Thanks for your info

    Any insight on when more government workers began to leave Springfield for Chicago?

  45. - RNUG - Thursday, Dec 18, 14 @ 9:12 pm:

    - Federalist - Thursday, Dec 18, 14 @ 7:57 pm:

    From personal knowledge, I remember an effort to try to move one what I would call back office facility from Springfield to Cook County during Ryan’s term (there was already one such facility in Chicago and this was to be a second one). As to the rest of the agencies during that period, I can’t say for sure.

    I had retired by the time Blago took office, but from stories from friends and relatives in various agencies, it seemed like there was a concerted effort under Blago to do so. FWIW, I heard lots of complaints about having to always run to Chicago for upper management meetings that used to take place in Springfield.

    Back on the state employee reduction, I should have also noted that there was a smaller retirement group in 2004 when a second but less generous incentive was offered. I think somewhere between 1,000 and 2,000 took advantage of that one, mostly people who either weren’t old enough for the 2002 ERI or people who decided after 2 years under Blago that they should have left in 2002.

  46. - Federalist - Thursday, Dec 18, 14 @ 11:03 pm:



Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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