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Friday, June 1, 2012 03:16 pm

The ax falls

Secretary of state’s office announces big layoffs

The Illinois Secretary of State’s office is laying off 90 people statewide in response to a 3 percent reduction in its budget.

The job eliminations will take effect July 1, said Dave Druker, spokesman for Secretary of State Jesse White. Those who are facing layoffs are being told now, either through letters or face-to-face conversations, Druker said.

“It’s a very difficult thing to do,” Druker said. “We hate to see people out of work. We’ve not had to do this before.”

The job cuts are in addition to 160 vacant positions that will go unfilled during the next fiscal year, Druker said. He did not know how many jobs are being eliminated in Springfield. The agency since April has frozen hiring for all but the most essential jobs, Druker added. The secretary of state has 3,750 employees.

The layoffs will affect several departments in the agency that issues driver’s licenses, keeps records on corporations and maintains its own police department. Druker said that some of the state’s 138 offices where driver’s licenses are issued and renewed may be shut down.

“We’re doing everything possible to maintain customer service,” Druker said.

Contact Bruce Rushton at brushton@illinoistimes.

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