Illinois prison employees have been told to tape television news broadcasts for the governor’s office. Gov. Rod Blagojevich on Thursday defends the move as an exercise in good government, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
“This is another example of changing the way business is done,” Blagojevich said yesterday. “This is a way of bringing government outside of the closed rooms in Springfield and understanding what communities are facing.”
Republican lawmakers blasted the initiative in light of the state Corrections Department recently losing nearly 2,500 workers to layoffs and early retirements. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which represents prison workers, also lit into the governor. “I always thought the job of corrections was to watch inmates, not to watch TV,” Henry Bayer, executive director of AFSCME Council 31, told the Associated Press.
Blagojevich responded that, “We’ve expanded what previous administrations have done without costing the taxpayers any money . . . “it’s part of asking people to multitask so you can do more with less. . . . We’re downsizing government; they’re doing more than just the traditional job description.”