Plan to close prisons, other state facilities stands - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Plan to close prisons, other state facilities stands

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SPRINGFIELD (WREX) -

Chances for an override vote come and go in the Illinois House Wednesday, meaning plans to close some state facilities will go forward.

Last week, the Illinois Senate voted to override $56 million in cuts from Illinois Governor Pat Quinn. However, a spokesman for Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan says the speaker didn't think it was necessary action to take, so the House passed on an override vote.

The governor used his veto power to make the cuts in the first place. Quinn says facilities, like Dwight and Tamms prisons, are underutilized and keeping them open is a waste of taxpayer money.

"Closing these empty or half-empty prisons and juvenile detention centers that are no longer needed will save Illinois taxpayers $88 million a year, once the closures are fully implemented. These closures will strengthen our long-term effort to cut state expenses and put Illinois on sound financial footing," said Quinn.

Governor Quinn wants to use the money to improve child-protection program funding.

"There is more work to do. We must work together in the weeks ahead to restore critically needed funding that will protect the state's most vulnerable children from abuse and neglect. I will continue working closely with the General Assembly to restore critical funding to DCFS to prevent the layoff of more than 500 front-line child abuse investigators," said Quinn.

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