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Illinois Comptroller says state checks could arrive later if Springfield postal changes go forward

Susana Mendoza
Illinois Comptroller's Office
Susana Mendoza

Comptroller Susana Mendoza has weighed in on a controversial plan that she says could lead to delays in people receiving state checks, including tax refunds. The Postal Service has proposed Springfield area mail be processed in St. Louis rather than locally.

Mendoza sent a letter to the U.S. Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy to make her point.

“My office sends out about 11,000 checks a day to home health care workers, childcare providers and other state providers and vendors,” says Comptroller Mendoza. “Even a one-day delay could cause serious hardship for these providers and businesses.”

Mendoza cautioned against moving forward without a thorough impact analysis guaranteeing no performance delays would result from the network processing shift.

“I want assurances that check recipients will receive their payments as expected and believe more analysis should be done to prevent any delays,” continued Mendoza. “While I support increased efficiency, data needs to show that moving Illinois mail out of state will improve delivery times.”

Mendoza also encourages further study of how current USPS jobs would be impacted in Springfield and other planned consolidation locations like Champaign.

Congresswoman Nikki Budzinski filed a resolution. It would halt USPS processing facility consolidations in "underperforming" postal districts. That would include downstate Illinois, where just 64.2% of 3-5 day first class mail is delivered on time, and 84.7% for 2-day first class mail. The USPS target ranges are 90.3% and 93%, respectively.

“I hope to learn more about the proposal, but in the meantime, I encourage state employees, service providers and other eligible state vendors to sign up to have their payments electronically deposited,” says Mendoza.

The Postal Service has targeted 58 Processing and Distribution Centers in smaller cities, including Peoria and Champaign.

“It’s going to lead to better service and better efficiency on getting the mail,” U.S. Postal Service Spokesperson Tim Norman said.

Local officials have also argued against the plan.

“There is a proposed decision to redirect Springfield’s packages and unprocessed mail volumes to the St. Louis, Missouri PDC, located over 100 miles away. This means that Springfield's mail and packages will be processed and postmarked in another state, under a different Postal District,” a statement from the Springfield Mayor’s Office said.

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