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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 18, 2004

Procedural reforms to boost efficiency at Department of Labor in FY 2005.
By cross-training investigators and merging two disparate divisions, the Illinois Department of Labor will reduce costs and increase efficiency in FY 2005.

SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today the Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) in Fiscal Year 2005 will seek to increase efficiency and improve public awareness by cross-training its investigators and merging two currently separate divisions.

While retaining the same headcount as in FY2004, Governor Blagojevich’s proposed an FY05 budget of $6.1 million dollars for the Illinois Department of Labor. In the face of a slight budget reduction from FY2004’s $6.2 million figure, the IDOL looks forward to achieving more with less.

The Department will cross-train investigators in the prevailing wage, minimum wage/overtime, and wage claim divisions, in an effort to reduce costs while increasing State labor law enforcement. The Department plans to merge the Carnival & Amusement Ride Division with the Division of Public Safety and will begin cross-training workers in these fields as well in an effort to cut costs.

“With the implementation of these measures,” said Acting Director Esther López, “Illinois workers can trust that the laws, which protect their workplace health, safety, and equity, will be enforced in a timely and efficient manner.”

The Department expects that these positive steps will lead to a more efficient claims process. Increased efficiency will, in turn, enable the IDOL to focus increasingly on providing general education to the public regarding the State’s important labor laws.

“The first step is to pass and sign worker friendly legislation into law like the Equal Pay Act of 2003,” said Acting Director López. “The second step is to ensure that the laws enforced in a timely manner. But the most important step is to increase the public’s awareness of these laws. Not everyone has the time to keep up with each year’s legislative changes.”


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