* House Republican Leader Tom Cross said yesterday that he won’t vote to override Gov. Pat Quinn’s budget vetoes…
In cutting the budget, Quinn proposed closing several facilities including the high-security Tamms prison and the women’s lockup at Dwight. The Democratic governor says the money should instead be spent on child-protection services.
Cross says an override vote is “purely symbolic.” It wouldn’t force Quinn to spend money on the prisons. It would simply restrict him from spending it elsewhere.
Cross says the state has money problems and “we have to recognize that someday.”
The Senate voted 35-16 last week to override the vetoes. It’s a sign that the bill might not be overridden today. We’ll see. Keep an eye on live blog for constant updates.
* Meanwhile, Gov. Pat Quinn refused to talk to reporters or address protesters yesterday in Decatur…
The fate of the Decatur Adult Transition Center and other facilities across the state remains uncertain, despite lawmakers in Springfield working to allot money for their operation.
Gov. Pat Quinn was in Decatur on Tuesday afternoon to speak at Richland Community College on an unrelated capital project for which funds were recently released. After finishing his remarks, the governor made a quick exit and did not speak to reporters or others in attendance.
Quinn cut $56 million from the budget and proposed shutting down several prisons and transitional centers across the state. But the Illinois Senate voted to reject the cuts last week, while the House may still call a bill to restore the money to the budget during its fall veto session this week. However, even if the House does reinstate the money, it would largely be a symbolic message. Quinn would not have to spend the money on prisons or facilities, though he couldn’t spend it elsewhere, either.
Students and other local politicians came to Richland to see the governor speak, while dozens of representatives of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union came to send a message to Quinn. As the governor took the podium, AFSCME members brought out signs in support of their workers at the facilities, as well as criticizing Quinn’s and other lawmakers’ attempts to reform pensions.
* He did speak in Peoria, however…
“We believe we’ve got to invest in clean water in the state of Illinois,” said Quinn. “We’re not too far from the Illinois River — that connects to great Lake Michigan, to the great river Mississippi — the mighty Illinois flows through our state.
“It is very, very important that we protect the Illinois River by making investments in wastewater treatment that we’re doing right here in Pekin, Ill.”
Ramble on, guv.