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      Successful merger of state agencies

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      Since the first of October, The Alabama Department of Industrial Relations merged with the Alabama Department of Labor. {}This created one, new department that has assumed the name of the Alabama Department of Labor. {}Most people say it has been a successful merger of the two state agencies. {}Senator Paul Sanford (R-Huntsville) says it's an example of efficiencies that can be gained through consolidation - without jeopardizing essential services.{}Sanford, who sponsored legislation to codify the merger of the Department of Industrial Relations and the Department of Labor, said a savings of roughly $400,000 a year was realized as soon as the merger took effect on Oct. 1, 2012.{}"Merging these two departments with similar functions was a common sense way to cut costs and operate more efficiently," Sanford said. "Governor Bentley deserves a great deal of credit for his commitment to right-sizing state government, as does the new Commissioner of the Department of Labor, Tom Surtrees, who has worked diligently to ensure a smooth transition.{}"This is an example of what Alabamians can expect to see out of the 2013 legislative session. We're leaving no stone unturned when it comes to cutting costs and maximizing every tax dollar that's sent to Montgomery."{}The former department of Industrial Relations administered workforce protection programs for employers and workers, including unemployment compensation, workers' compensation and labor market information. These services are now being offered by the Department of Labor.

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