Proposed IDOT Move Bad News for IFCA Members
You may have heard that Governor Blagojevich wants to move 150 Illinois DOT workers from Springfield to Harrisburg, IL, calling it job growth for Southern Illinois. This is a major concern for IFCA members. The employees that the Governor wants to move are in the Division of Traffic Safety. These are the IDOT people that IFCA works with on a weekly basis to determine the impact of federal and state hazardous material and motor carrier safety regulations on our industry. They help us understand how these complex rules impact our members, explain how they will be enforced and work with us on policies that are reasonable and take into consideration the busy times in our industry. These IDOT employees attend the IFCA Convention and MAGIE show each year, conduct training at our events and have helped us resolve many regulatory issues. They have decades of experience with the regulations; they run a fair and equitable enforcement program, including overseeing the audits that our members receive. Audits are not fun, but keep in mind they have the authority to fine you $10,000 per violation; more often than not they issue warnings and allow you to fix any compliance deficiencies.
The chances that these veteran IDOT employees will move their families from Springfield to Harrisburg are very slim. The majority have indicated they will look for another job rather than move 300 miles away. We could lose decades of knowledge and experience within IDOT and these people could be replaced with those who don't appreciate or understand commercial trucking industries such as ours. IFCA has communicated our concerns to the legislators involved in this decision to make them aware of the ramifications to Illinois businesses and to public safety. If you happen to see your legislators over the 4th of July holiday, please mention to them how concerned you are with this latest proposal from the Governor. IFCA is prepared to testify at a hearing on July 31 on this matter, but the Governor has the ability to issue an Executive Order to move the Division of Traffic Safety to Harrisburg. We are not opposed to job growth in S Illinois but this doesn't seem like the best way to go about it.