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Question of the day

Friday, Aug 10, 2018

* Rachel Droze

Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a bill Thursday afternoon requiring the default location for all new and vacant state positions to Springfield and Sangamon County.

Existing employees won’t be relocated.

A 2016 study estimated the action would bring roughly 400 jobs to the area. […]

This law takes effect immediately, meaning any new hires in state government will be calling the Springfield area home unless there’s a specific reason why they should be working in another location in Illinois.

* SJ-R

House Bill 4295 makes Springfield and Sangamon County the default location for employees of most state agencies. The director of Central Management Services would have to establish a geographic location for each state job and specify why positions located outside the capital city need to be there.

The legislative and judicial branches are exempt, as are the offices of the state’s constitutional officers and those employed directly by the governor’s office.

The legislation addresses longstanding suspicions by some that state positions are being systematically poached from Springfield for other parts of the state, fears exacerbated by the general decline in the total number of state jobs in the past few decades. […]

State jobs are scattered across all counties of the state, but the lion’s share are in Sangamon County and Cook County. While the latter — home to Chicago — has a significantly higher population, workforce studies have shown other state capitals having far more state jobs than their state’s largest city.

* The Question: Do you agree or disagree with this new law? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.


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- Posted by Rich Miller        

32 Comments
  1. - GOPgal - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 12:22 pm:

    I’m no particular fan of state workers, but I wouldn’t wish living in Springfield on my worst enemy. Oh the humanity.


  2. - Yup! - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 12:30 pm:

    Agree Springfield is the state capital. It is far more economical for the State to fill positions in Springfield vs Chicago with the cost of rent and everything else. The bills allows those jobs necessary for a region to stay, so departments can fulfill their mission.


  3. - Real - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 12:34 pm:

    I don’t agree with the law. Just because Springfield is the capital it doesn’t mean it should be the default location of state jobs. The state is Illinois… Not Springfield. As long as it’s based in Illinois and not being privatized to some other place there should be no problem. Its called state workers not Springfield workers.


  4. - Steward As Well.... - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 12:35 pm:

    Hey now. I believe pre capita in the State of Illinois the town still has more bars than any other. That should count for something.

    And of course living in Springfield I agree with the new law. Thumbs up!


  5. - Annonin' - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 12:36 pm:

    Hope the bill has some reportin’ requirements so GovJunk can ’splain his actions…it would be a first.


  6. - Precinct Captain - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 12:37 pm:

    Disagree.

    The jobs should be based where the necessity is and it seems that to do an effective job, you might want to have a lot of the state jobs in the third largest metropolitan area of the nation, not in some failing backwater addicted to the government dole.


  7. - Macbeth - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 12:38 pm:

    Most of core DoIT is in Springfield.

    One issue that DoIT is constantly facing is the retention of talent. Literally, managers get hired and within six months are gone. I suspect this has to do with a typical “old school” mindset: open source bad, Microsoft and Oracle: good.

    But I’m betting that the Springfield location has a lot to do with it. To expect a sophisticated IT agency to flourish in … Springfield, Illinois? … is insanity.

    Chicago, yeah. Urbana? Sure.


  8. - Arsenal - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 12:39 pm:

    I agree with it. There are loads of good reasons to locate jobs outside of Springfield, but it appears the bill has a mechanism to address those factors.


  9. - FormerDSdirector - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 12:39 pm:

    Disagree. Bottom line is,like it or not, you gotta be where the clientele are and that’s ChicagoLand.


  10. - No no no - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 12:44 pm:

    Disagree, you won’t get talent to move to Springfield.


  11. - Last Bull Moose - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 12:44 pm:

    Disagree. It is generally cheaper to hire employees downstate, but Springfield is not the only option. For example, there is a more robust market for IT people in Bloomington.

    Yes, I know the state pays the same wages everywhere. But it does not get the same quality everywhere.


  12. - Real - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 12:45 pm:

    @MacBeth
    Literally, managers get hired and within six months are gone.

    -Where are they going after 6 minths? They transferring to a different location in state work or going to a private company?


  13. - Anon - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 12:47 pm:

    First and foremost, jobs should be based on where they are needed. While this doesn’t necessarily prevent that, it’s an arbitrary requirement.


  14. - Sarcastic One - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 12:47 pm:

    It’s one more piece of worthless legislation. You need offices around the state to address the needs of the citizens. Take DHS and Child Support as an example. Case workers need to be available to those citizens that need in person assistance due to language or literacy barriers. It’s just one more law on the books that doesn’t need to be there. Gov is looking to show her actually did something when he really hasn’t.


  15. - Real - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 12:50 pm:

    For example, there is a more robust market for IT people in Bloomington.

    -But it’s only a 1 hour commute to Springfield from Bloomington so it’s not like it’s too far.


  16. - A Jack - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 12:53 pm:

    I am neutral on the idea. There was a big fear of jobs moving to Chicago under Blagojevich, but that didn’t happen. I think the high cost of living in Chicago would price most state jobs out of the market.

    Some positions do need to be in Chicago due to the higher population density. Chicago needs positions like revenue auditor and child abuse investigators in that area because there are more people and businesses.

    In my position I could work anywhere, but I would hate living near Chicago because of the traffic, crime, miserable winters, and Cub fans.


  17. - Macbeth - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 1:07 pm:

    @Real:

    re: DoIT managers

    Gone — like, no longer working for the state.

    Essentially, DoIT is turning into one big “let’s put that CIO/assistant CIO/assistant for the assistant CIO/assistant assisting the assistant assistant CIO for all the different DoIT “verticals” (Education, Law Enforcement, etc, etc) on my resume” — and then let’s get the heck out of Dodge.

    I’m not saying it’s all Springfield — but it’s surely part of the equation.

    Interesting, though, the actual DoIT workers — the employees who work and don’t push paper and “attend meetings” stay put.

    Go figure.


  18. - Question - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 1:09 pm:

    I agree with the law. It doesn’t say that jobs have to be in spi. It says spi is default, and we have to justify taking the job out of the Capitol.

    We have economies of scale in Springfield, so if you can’t justify taking ppl out, then it makes sense to use those economies of scale to our financial advantage.


  19. - Earnest - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 1:16 pm:

    I voted “disagree.” It’s another hoop the state is making itself jump through, with time and energy better spent on effectively executing state functions.


  20. - Anonymous - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 1:17 pm:

    It’s going to be a lot harder to recruit BTIA types with this bill.


  21. - Arthur Andersen - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 1:24 pm:

    Disagree. The job needs to be where the work is, not an arbitrary location. Will the State Police have to push paper every time a Trooper in Southern IL retires to keep his/her replacement from going to Springfield?

    Seems like feel-good legislation for the home team that is unlikely to have much real impact.


  22. - Smitty Irving - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 1:30 pm:

    Agreed. While it is a given there will be jobs outside Springfield (prisons, DCFS investigators, ISP, etc.), if nothing else this will prevent moving jobs to avoid Veteran’s Preference. And it should end moving Rutan protected jobs out of Springfield to get the incumbent to quit so “the right person” can fill the vacancy.


  23. - A Manager In State Government - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 1:45 pm:

    Disagree. Locating staff near where their clients/grandees/collaborators are located saves the state money. I have staff in Springfield who have to travel to Chicago many times a month for site visits, meetings, inspections, etc. Even with the state rate for Chicago hotels, the travel costs are hefty, not to mention the time out of the office to travel. I have created new positions that are Chicago-based because when doing the analysis, it would save the state thousands of dollars in travel a year (each position). Arbitrarily making every position Springfield-based will cost taxpayers more, in the end.


  24. - revvedup - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 1:51 pm:

    Another useless law. Staff need to be where the NEED is, no matter the agency. Imagine the broken leases from forced relocations of offices, let alone the jump in lease costs as owners soak the State for its foolishness. Talent retention is a red herring; many people leave government employment once they find out how backwards the policy, procedure, and culture is in an agency.


  25. - Stones - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 2:35 pm:

    The vast majority of Illinois citizens live in Cook and the collar counties. No reason to give Springfield that designation. How would downstate feel if Chicago were the Capitol and the default location of all state jobs?


  26. - lakeside - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 2:39 pm:

    I voted against.

    There are efficiencies that come with locating a significant number of state jobs in the county with 40% of the population. You are also attracting a more diverse workforce - including diversity of ideas - when you are bringing together people from around the state to work together in agencies. The fine folks of Sangamon, while above average in both intelligence and beauty, don’t have a magic ball to tell them how programs will work on the ground in Cook, Jasper or Warren Counties.

    Lastly, there’s a warm place in my heart for Springfield, but I don’t want to and can’t live there for a variety of reasons. You lose folks who want to serve the state but for whom the location/relocating simply doesn’t work. Why take the step to enshrine that in law?

    Realistically, I’m sure this will have little impact, as you can make the default anything alongside a loose waiver system, which will undoubtedly occur. But still…


  27. - Bumblin stumblin rumblin - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 3:40 pm:

    Eh, Springfield isn’t that bad. Maybe not great, but I’ve never understood the absolute hatred it receives.


  28. - WhoKnew - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 3:58 pm:

    Have to agree on this one!

    Isn’t this bill just undoing some of Blago’s redesign?

    And hasn’t recent events proven it just as expensive to rent space in Springfield as it is in Chicago! /s


  29. - RNUG - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 4:02 pm:

    == To expect a sophisticated IT agency to flourish in … Springfield, Illinois? ==

    Seems to be a good sized software company on the west side of town that has florished in the global market …


  30. - Chito - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 4:36 pm:

    The lack of diversity in the state workforce will never be corrected if most new hires are to be concentrated in Sangamon county. I’m still amazed that the black and Latino caucuses didn’t raise a big stink about this.


  31. - bear3 - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 4:44 pm:

    Fresh start to see what you need and control again before you outsource Government with the online capability available today. Not politically correct but maybe fiscally responsible and alow for outsourcing dealing with agencies like Second of state, etc. Pay for a road test from a third party as an example for a fixed fee and not a state employee.


  32. - Nobody Sent - Friday, Aug 10, 18 @ 4:53 pm:

    But what if the micromanaging agency CEO in Chi-town wants his minions close to him so he can lord over them?


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