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DNR part of larger layoff picture in Illinois

August 28, 2008 at 09:33 PM

of the Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD (AP)—Thirteen state historic sites and 11 parks will close, and human services will be affected as the Blagojevich administration said Thursday it will lay off 325 workers.

The tourist attractions include the reconstructed log cabin of Abraham Lincoln’s father and stepmother near Charleston, set to close Oct. 1, just five months before the bicentennial of Lincoln’s birth.

Four state agencies will cut their work forces this fall because of the $1.4 billion Gov. Rod Blagojevich took out of a state budget he said wasn’t balanced. The cuts include 179 positions at the Department of Children and Family Services and 73 at the Department of Human Services. Another 127 DCFS workers will keep their jobs but be moved to positions or areas where there are vacancies.

The administration had no choice, given the out-of-balance budget and the slowing economy, Blagojevich spokeswoman Kelley Quinn said. She asserted officials are minimizing adverse effects.

“These are difficult decisions to make, difficult decisions that we don’t want to make,” Quinn said. “That being said, we’ve spent the last two months working with agencies to ensure that they’re going to maintain their core services.”

Most of those laid off are represented by the state’s largest union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which said the cuts will hurt children and poor families.

“The governor’s actions will put abused and neglected children at greater risk, reduce access to Medicaid and food stamps, and further harm state parks and historic sites,” AFSCME executive director Henry Bayer said in a statement.

Quinn could not say whether more layoffs are coming.

“We’re continuing to work with the agencies on management plans for further savings,” she said.

DCFS is cutting 179 positions and requiring 127 other workers to move to “higher need” areas where there are vacancies and caseloads are larger, spokesman Kendall Marlowe said. Most of the 73 employees losing their jobs at DHS work with low-income families to get them benefits, spokesman Tom Green said. But layoffs are spread throughout the agency, reducing the impact on services and eliminating the need to close offices, he said.

The world will be watching Illinois in February 2009, when Lincoln’s adopted state celebrates the Kentucky-born 16th president’s 200th birthday.

But several sites associated with Lincoln will close, including his parents’ last home near Charleston and the Vandalia statehouse, where Lincoln served in the state Legislatures before Springfield became the state capital.

“It’s going to be devastating to local communities that depend on these sites for tourist revenue,” preservation agency spokesman David Blanchette said.

The Department of Natural Resources will lay off 39 workers, including three part-timers, and close 11 state parks Nov. 1.

“The other 300 parks, natural areas, wildlife areas, will remain unaffected,” DNR spokesman Chris McCloud said.

McCloud said the General Assembly rejected the agency’s proposal last spring for several “modest” user-fee increases that would have reduced the need to cut now.

Your CommentsComments :: Terms :: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

To all the hunters, fisher presons….ect. that voted for Blagojevich, THANK YOU.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/28 at 11:47 PM

Let me see,  “The Choosen One” also known as Mr Obama is going to pull us all out of the hole and change the whole world as it exists.  I doubt it, him in the white house only gives Blagojevich more power to screw all of us.  That includes the DNR, DCFS, teachers, students, hunters, fishermen,campers, etc, etc…..My mind was made up this morning when the news flashed that McCain had choosen Sarah Palin as his running mate, she is a hunter, fisherwomen, (husbands a commercial fishermen/stay at home dad) and advocate of our second amendment rights.  Who does Obama have in his corner, Daley, Blago.  People who don’t want guns in the hands of law abiding citizens.  Our Governor is systematically eliminating our rights.  With his idle threats to close more state parks thus eliminating more options for hunters of Illinois.  I look at projects that Blagojevich has accomplished for this state and they amount to nothing.  Let me see, he did get the Governor’s mansions driveway paved and heated for a small fortune ($750,000). How much money was spent on his flights back in forth to Springfield?  Alaska’s Governor sold the Governor’s private jet and started taking commercial flights and drove her car to meetings to save her state money.  Would Blago ever think of lowering himself to those standards? Hell NO!!!!  So what I got out of the last blog is that all States are hurting for money due to republicans cutting the Feds budget. I don’t think many states are as worse off as ours.  Our state was mentioned in a article as one of the worse run states in the entire nation.  Thats due to corrupt Chicago politics, one for which Obama belongs.  ALL of my money that is spent through the DNR is funneled out and that is pure BS.  Park closers, layoffs, etc, etc, etc What is next under the regime of Blagojevich.  Is he gonna tax our first born child (some More)? oh ya, but there is a position in Sam Flood’s office that needs filled.
It reads: Govenor’s buddies apply only.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/29 at 10:42 AM

I agree with jeff2020. I also am no fan of Blago, but put the blame where it deserves. Yes, Blago sucks our money dry from the DNR and does very little to sacrifice for himself. But Bush needs to fund that war that HE started on a lie and that costs EVERYONE big bucks. For anyone to think that McCain will do different, don’t bet on it. Republicans are anything but conservative. They spend our hard earned dollars faster than anyone. That Iraq war is killing us! ( no pun intended). China now owns us because WE borrowed from China, of all people, to fund the war. Lets hope China doesn’t call the loan back or we’re finished. It’s no wonder the states are all broke.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/29 at 04:20 PM

I also agree with jeff2020. Bush is a robber. The republicans used to pass out fliers that stated “if bill clinton gets elected, he will make us all turn our guns in to the local police”. We had the best economics when he was in office and I still have my guns. Republicans lie and steal our money just as bad as blago does. You can’t trust anyone. They’re all crooks.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/29 at 04:24 PM

Shedhead-  don’t even waste your time with this brain-dead “V”.  He can’t even spell his name.  He must of voted for Blag, sure defends them dems a whole lot.  Its too bad we have to deal with losers like him on this web page.  Doesnt have a clue.  All that altitude must of turned his brain to mush.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/29 at 08:35 PM

Argue all you want men, but we better find some solutions quick, or hunting, and fishing in Illinois is toast!!!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/29 at 08:54 PM

Sorry there IDNR biologist, I know how serious this whole situation is. I have a family member who is a IDNR biologist too and he has even worried about his position.  I just like getting these boys all fired up over there democratic buddies.  I think enough people are affected by the latest news that the phone lines will be burning up at their local lawmakers office. I just hope that they will listen and try and stop our governor before its to late.
These parks are a wonderful place for family fun and we need to save them for the next generation.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/29 at 09:24 PM

To:illbowhunter - Very serious indeed! Every IDNR employee should be concerned about his/her careers. These are dire times for sure. I hope you are correct, and the citizens of Illinois begin to fight harder for what they deserve. At this time, hunting, and fishing in Illinois are still good, this won’t continue without proper management.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/30 at 01:13 AM

All the way, Shedhead, 11P2C, HHC 3/505.  Whatever our personal politics, we’re all on the same side here.  Before we got sidetracked, I was trying to make a point.  If we’re going to deal with all of this, we have to understand it.  The problem is deeper than Blago being a mismanaging, anti-sportsman, anti-DNR fool.  The problem is that a lot of federal money has dried up over the past decade, and as inflation progresses, state expenses increase and there’s less money to go around.  Getting rid of Blago will solve the anti-DNR bias in state government; it will not plug the hole in the budget.  The problem is just more complex than stupidity in state government.  I wish it were just Blago—that would be easier to deal with.
As for, “I don’t think many states are as worse off as ours.”  I disagree.  I know for a fact Wisconsin is; my mom was a state of Wisconsin employee until recently.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/30 at 07:48 AM

Settle down everyone. Obviously while I was fishing today and watching otters frolic, you guys were fighting. Yes, these are ugly times in Illinois. But you’ve still got to be civil or your posts will be deleted.

Posted by Jeff Lampe on 08/30 at 07:43 PM

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