Hearing on IDOT employee transfer set for July 31

Doug Finke

Opponents of transferring more than 100 Illinois Department of Transportation employees from Springfield to southern Illinois will get a chance to air their complaints at a public hearing July 31.

The bipartisan Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability has scheduled the hearing for 5 p.m., although a location hasn’t been determined. COGFA executive director Dan Long said it will either be in the auditorium at IDOT’s Springfield headquarters or at a legislative hearing room in the Capitol.

“Normally we get very large crowds,” said Long, who has attended public hearings about other facility closures. “We expect as many as 300 people.”

IDOT wants to move its Division of Traffic Safety to an undisclosed location in southern Illinois.  The agency says the building where the division is now housed — known as the IDOT annex — is too expensive.

City officials and local lawmakers say Springfield has more than enough vacant office space to accommodate the 100 or so workers. 

State Rep. Raymond Poe, R-Springfield, said he expects the hearing will show moving the employees saves no money.

“I think there will be more things that come to light,” Poe said. “There has to be another reason other than to save money.”

The public hearing is required under the State Facilities Closure Act. IDOT also must provide written documentation on where the employees will be moved, do a cost analysis, and prepare  examinations of alternative locations in Springfield, the economic impact on the capital city, and the effect on state services.

IDOT has until July 1 to provide that information. 

Sometime after the hearing, the commission will vote on whether the closure should proceed.

Also Tuesday, officials said there appears to be nothing in federal regulations that would prevent the state from moving the division.

Doug Finke can be reached at (217) 788-1527 or