Even as Illinois budget deficit soared, a dozen Department of Transportation officials got raises in the waning days of Rod Blagojevich’s administration, the AP reports. The raises, which averaged about $6,000 a year, came on top of standard cost-of-living increases, and without any change in the officials’ titles. This despite federal admonishments that the IDOT is understaffed, and deficits that have forced unpaid furlough days for state workers.
“These fat raises for top managers would be out of line in any context,” said a spokesman for a public employees union. “They’re especially disgusting given the state’s huge budget hole and terrible staff shortage.” The raises took effect two weeks before Blagojevich was kicked out of office. The IDOT says they were necessary to keep “seasoned management and staff.”