New law makes Springfield the default location for state jobs

New law makes Springfield the default location for state jobs (Rachel Droze)

Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a bill Thursday afternoon requiring the default location for all new and vacant state positions to Springfield and Sangamon County.

Existing employees won't be relocated.

A 2016 study estimated the action would bring roughly 400 jobs to the area.

For 40 years, Kevin Schraeder has called Springfield home.

“When we first came to Springfield, this was the hub for lots of state jobs,” Schraeder said.

But that’s not the case anymore.

“Over the last 10 years, a couple of different administrations have moved the jobs out,” Schraeder said.

Now that won’t be happening.

Because of a new law signed Thursday, hundreds of state jobs are moving back to Springfield.

“All new hires into state government will be in Springfield unless there’s a very good reason justified by constituent services for them not to be,” Gov. Bruce Rauner said.

The sponsor of the legislation, Rep. Sara Wojcicki Jimenez, said this is both economically and geographically beneficial.

“Part of the reason, if you look at history, that Abraham Lincoln pushed for Springfield — well he was from here — but also he worked with eight other legislators in the long nine about 180 years ago was because it was more central,” Wojcicki Jimenez said.

Not only did those present tout the boost it’s expected to bring to the state, they also talked about the boost it’ll bring to Springfield.

“Our future is bright as the capital city,” Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder said. “No other capital city could’ve weathered the storm of not having a state budget for as long as we had, but you complex that with the exodus of jobs and it really had a dramatic impact.”

“There are a lot of empty buildings if you drive around downtown,” Schraeder said. “Those office buildings have been vacated. There’s a lot of struggle to get those filled. If we get the people back working here, that’ll be good.”

This law takes effect immediately, meaning any new hires in state government will be calling the Springfield area home unless there’s a specific reason why they should be working in another location in Illinois.

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