We want to extend kudos to the Cook County Board Chairperson for reversing the sales tax increase brought by her misguided predecessor. We also note she isn’t cutting services to do so; she is simply cutting overstaffed county departments on an across-the-board basis. Someday, we hope all state, county and local governments in the “People’s Republic of Illinois” start to tighten budgets and provide way more value to the taxpayers they serve.
From the IWCC, we note a recent announcement on their website appears to indicate a similar budgeting focus. To give credit where credit may be due, we salute Chairman Weisz for his quiet but solid approach and hope he continues to do more—some of our top arbitrators assert they could handle lots more claims by implementing case-handling efficiencies. As part of IWCC cost-cutting, we note they may be “scrambling the eggs” to make it more difficult to figure out who is on first and what is on second when it comes to status calls but we are sure the industry will adjust. From what we can tell, the two Arbitrators currently on paid leave are going to be there for the foreseeable future. They may literally have no status calls to return to. On another note, while we dislike seeing some of the Arbitrators inconvenienced by longer drives to distant hearing sites, we do feel the fresh faces at some of the calls may be good for overall professionalism in hearings and pretrials.
The IWCC announced they have consolidated some Downstate arbitration territories and made other changes, effective April 1, 2011:
The Belleville call will be closed and consolidated in Collinsville.
The Carlinville call will be closed and consolidated in Springfield.
The Clinton call will be closed and consolidated in Decatur.
All Rockford cases will be heard by Arbitrator Akemann.
The Waukegan call will be moved to the second Friday of each month, with the next seven days as trial days. (except for November where the call will remain on the 1st Friday of the month due to Veteran's Day and Thanksgiving holidays)
The Whittington call will be closed and consolidated in Herrin.
The Winchester call will be closed and consolidated in Quincy.
The Commission outlines these changes will save travel and rental expenses and allow fewer arbitrators to hear more cases. Arbitrator assignments, effective April 1, appear below.
Danville, Galesburg, Rock Falls, Rock Island
Decatur, Mt. Vernon, Urbana
Arbitrators will adopt the existing status calls and schedules for their new territories. Any partially tried cases will stay with the original arbitrator. Revised Downstate calendars will be posted on the Commission’s website shortly.
Please forward any questions or comments.