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State rep says fight to keep prisons open will continue

Thu, 06 Dec 2012 09:45:52 CST

State Representative Jason Barickman says he hasn't given up on funding of prison and other state facilities targeted for closure. The Republican from Champaign says the legal efforts of the AFSCME prison worker's union, and the legislature could reverse the governor's efforts. But Barickman says he's frustrated with the inaction of the House yesterday, he calls it a direct result of Democratic House Speaker Mike Madigan controlling the legislative process. He says the Governor shouldn't take the House's inaction as a signal to spend the money elsewhere, because of on-going costs at the facilities:

"If you take Dwight as an example, the expenses to continue to accrue at the Dwight correctional center, but there's no budgeted money to pay them. And it creates a real conflict. I think these are the decisions that result in state government spending more money, not less."
Barickman is a native of Livingston County, where the Dwight Correctional Center is located. Last month a judge in Southern Illinois temporarily halted Quinn's efforts to close prisons. Workers with the AFSCME union contend transferring inmates to other facilities would threaten workers health and safety.

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