* The setup…
When Gov. Pat Quinn laid out his proposed budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1 and called for closing dozens of facilities around the state, he revived a debate started nearly a decade ago under then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
Just how much authority should state lawmakers have to block the governor from closing facilities that are often major employers in an area and provide significant economic impact?
The issue could come to a head this spring with at least one bill pending that would specifically give the General Assembly a final word on whether a facility stays open or is closed.
Sen. Gary Forby, D-Benton, introduced Senate Bill 3564 that requires the General Assembly to vote on a facility closure after the bipartisan Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability makes a recommendation. The bill is pending on the Senate floor.
As the above article notes, CoGFA’s vote is only a recommendation. The governor can still go ahead and close a facility if CoGFA votes against it. That hasn’t yet happened, however.
* The Question: Should the General Assembly be given authority to nix state facility closures? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.