Letter To The Editor:

I am very disappointed to learn the USPS has approved a plan to convert the Springfield Post Office into a local processing center and move distribution out-of-state to St. Louis. This ill-advised decision leaves Illinois’ state capital without a distribution center for state payments.

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Last week I sent a letter to U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, expressing my concerns that vital payments to home health care and childcare providers, state vendors, emergency child support and even tax refunds could be delayed. For many, receiving these payments even one day late can cause serious hardship. It is unfortunate these very real concerns were not addressed.

I requested an impact analysis of this proposal to ensure payments would not be delayed under the new system, as I am not convinced reducing the job of the Springfield Post Office and sending mail out-of-state, only to be sent back to addresses in Illinois will be more efficient. Regrettably, the opposite is more likely to be true.

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How can anyone argue with a straight face that sending our mail – two-thirds of which is bound for Northern Illinois – 100 miles south to St. Louis before it can be shipped back north again will not delay delivery to Illinois residents?

My office sends out about 11,000 checks a day, or 3 million a year, to locations around the state, and it’s imperative they arrive on-time. U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy should focus on improving service and efficiencies, rather than encumbering Illinois residents with further delays. He should reverse course. I will continue to work with the Illinois Congressional Delegation on this matter.

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