Don’t expect anymore drivers service facility closures beyond the one reported this month, at least that’s the hope of the Illinois Secretary of State’s office.
Henry Haupt, deputy press secretary for Secretary of State Jesse White, said the office used some of a recent $10 million appropriation to pay landlords for rent from July to December of last year, some utilities for the various facilities, and vendors who maintain the office’s cyber security.
“That’s a high priority of ours to ensure that the data that we maintain is protected,” Haupt said.
Haupt also said of the $10 million appropriation the office has set aside $4 million for critical needs like continued payments on leases, utilities and unexpected emergencies.
“All of these things we do with an eye on our facilities and our ability to keep them open,” Haupt said.
But despite the office having a top priority of keeping drivers facilities open, Haupt says one landlord in Wheaton did decide to discontinue a lease. That facility is closing March 24.
Meanwhile, without a full budget, the Secretary of State’s office continues to spend -- sparingly.
Outside of the highly publicized suspension of mailing out license plate renewal notices, Haupt said the office is taking other belt-tightening steps to save money during the impasse.
“A lot of other areas that the public may not see, anything that would require overtime we pretty much have scrapped that,” Haupt said. “We have greatly limited travel.”
Meanwhile Haupt said the security company Garda resumed services last month to pick up and deliver cash from drivers services facilities after having ended a previous agreement earlier this year because of lack of payment.