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Quinn can close prisons but can't shift $ budgeted for them

Wed, 27 Jun 2012 17:17:12 CDT
By: AP

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn plans to buck lawmakers' wishes and close several prisons largely because of budget problems.   But that doesn't mean Quinn has $90 million to spend elsewhere. The General Assembly appropriated that money to keep open prisons at Dwight and Tamms and youth detention centers in Murphysboro and Joliet. The Democratic governor can close them but for the most part he needs legislative authority to shift the money. Quinn must sign a budget by Sunday, when the state's financial year begins. The Senate has not sent the legislation but a spokesman says it's just paperwork backup. Lawmakers gave Quinn more flexibility on health centers in Rockford, Tinley Park, Jacksonville and Centralia. They appropriated money for Quinn to run them or to move residents to community-based homes.

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