Breaking News Bar
updated: 12/5/2012 5:32 PM

House allows state prison cuts to stand

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • Emon Madison and other students from Centralia High School rally Wednesday at the state Capitol against efforts to close multiple state facilities in southern Illinois. The facilities that have lost state funding include the Murray Developmental Center in Centralia, Centralia Animal Disease Laboratory, Tamms Correctional Center, Illinois Youth Center in Murphysboro, Adult Transitional Center in Carbondale and Illinois State Police Forensics Lab in Carbondale.

      Emon Madison and other students from Centralia High School rally Wednesday at the state Capitol against efforts to close multiple state facilities in southern Illinois. The facilities that have lost state funding include the Murray Developmental Center in Centralia, Centralia Animal Disease Laboratory, Tamms Correctional Center, Illinois Youth Center in Murphysboro, Adult Transitional Center in Carbondale and Illinois State Police Forensics Lab in Carbondale.
    Associated Press

 
Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD -- Gov. Pat Quinn won a contentious legislative battle over prison closures -- along with ability to direct millions in state money toward child services -- on Wednesday.

Quinn, a Chicago Democrat, had proposed cutting $56 million from the state's budget and shutting down two prisons, two juvenile detention centers and three halfway houses, a plan a major union opposed and took to the courts.

It appeared lawmakers were also ready to reject the idea after the state senators voted last week to override Quinn's decision. An override in the House would have locked up the money, but House lawmakers skipped a vote and adjourned Wednesday, allowing the cuts to stand. House Speaker Mike Madigan didn't think calling a vote was a "necessary action to take," said his spokesman Steve Brown.

Quinn, whose approval rating has dipped in recent months, hailed the move as an important victory for taxpayers. He estimated the shutdowns -- including the high-security Tamms prison and the maximum-security Dwight women's lockup -- would save about $88 million a year.

"These closures will strengthen our long-term effort to cut state expenses and put Illinois on sound financial footing," he said in a statement.

Quinn has argued that Tamms and some juvenile detention centers are underutilized and that developmentally disabled residents in state institutions would fare better in community settings. He says that money can be moved to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services to prevent layoffs of hundreds of child abuse investigators.

Still, the state facilities could remain open.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees got a preliminary injunction blocking some of the closures. The union has argued that moving inmates and workers from shuttered prisons to overcrowded facilities presents security risks.

"It's obviously a big disappointment, but most definitely not the end of this fight," AFSCME spokesman Anders Lindall said of the House' decision. "We will work with lawmakers to find another way to restore needed funding for corrections and juvenile justice."

Share

Interested in reusing this article?

Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.

The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.

Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Name * Company Telephone * E-mail *

Message (optional)

Success - Reprint request sent Click to close
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.
    help here