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*** LIVE SESSION COVERAGE *** Quinn to close 14 facilities

Tuesday, Feb 21, 2012

* AP reporter Chris Wills just Tweeted that Gov. Pat Quinn will propose closing 14 state facilities in his budget address tomorrow. You’ll probably see more stories like this on our live feed today as we gear up for the budget address. Also, check back in the evening because reporters will be given a briefing, and some may update from the room.

The Senate’s not in session today, but the House is and you can watch or listen here. Blackberry users click here, everybody else kick back and watch the show…

- Posted by Rich Miller        

20 Comments
  1. - steve schnorf - Tuesday, Feb 21, 12 @ 12:30 pm:

    Governor Quinn may be going to do the most frightening thing many have seen in a while; introduce a balanced budget.


  2. - Michelle Flaherty - Tuesday, Feb 21, 12 @ 1:28 pm:

    You know, a good time to offer up detailed, austere cuts would have been right BEFORE you asked for a tax increase.

    Just saying, hindsight, 20-20 and such.
    But better late than never to the wide world of reality.


  3. - Don't Worry About the Government - Tuesday, Feb 21, 12 @ 1:34 pm:

    I am very curious as to where these state facilities are located.


  4. - How Ironic - Tuesday, Feb 21, 12 @ 1:42 pm:

    It will be curious to see how the GOP reacts to this budget. Afterall…they’ve been begging for ‘budget cuts’ for some time.

    Will they back them up, or wail and nash teeth because a facility is in their district? I’m betting on the wailing and nashing of teeth.


  5. - AC - Tuesday, Feb 21, 12 @ 1:50 pm:

    I wonder if he is going to cut the services offered by those agencies. Doing more with less doesn’t work very well.


  6. - TCB - Tuesday, Feb 21, 12 @ 2:02 pm:

    @AC

    It is my opinion that staffing at state agencies have already reached a point where services are starting to suffer…..add another 9% on top of that & it will be even worse. However, at this point the Governor is really forced to ask himself not what the state should do, but what the state must do. I don’t think it’s any secret that these programs won’t operate as they were designed to, given the state’s situation, but the Governor really doesn’t have a choice.


  7. - TCB - Tuesday, Feb 21, 12 @ 2:10 pm:

    @AC

    I misread your comment earlier, my apologies.

    Most of the programs/services that are left are mandated….The ABC agency shall do X, shall do Y & shall do Z. Many/most of the discretionary programs have already been drastically cut or even eliminated entirely. Quinn can call for the elimination of certain mandates, but without cooperation from the GA, the savings associated with those services are nothing more than a pipe dream.


  8. - AC - Tuesday, Feb 21, 12 @ 2:32 pm:

    I guess what I am trying to say is that I have seen firsthand the impact of doing more with less, firsthand, for over a decade. Legally mandated services aren’t being effectively delivered with current staffing levels. We are kidding ourselves if we think a 9% cut to agencies is possible without cutting services. My biggest fear is that the state will continue to pretend that the cuts will have little impact. I think the state would better serve its citizens if it were to prioritize its limited resources. I also understand that may not be possible without cooperation from the legislature.


  9. - TCB - Tuesday, Feb 21, 12 @ 2:43 pm:

    =I guess what I am trying to say is that I have seen firsthand the impact of doing more with less, firsthand, for over a decade. Legally mandated services aren’t being effectively delivered with current staffing levels. We are kidding ourselves if we think a 9% cut to agencies is possible without cutting services. My biggest fear is that the state will continue to pretend that the cuts will have little impact. I think the state would better serve its citizens if it were to prioritize its limited resources. I also understand that may not be possible without cooperation from the legislature. =

    AC, you are exactly right. What’s currently happening is cases/appeals/claims/applications/renewals/etc are piling up at the agencies & with another 9% in cuts (surely the majority of which comes from Personal services, Contractual services & travel) it’s sure to get worse. For example it normally takes 2 months to get a FOID card renewed even though ISP is mandated to do it in 30 days, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to many people to know that the FOID backlog will likely grow.

    Not to mention the short staffing makes it more difficult to identify fraud on the part of vendors/grantees/recipients or even of state employees.


  10. - bartelby - Tuesday, Feb 21, 12 @ 3:16 pm:

    Tamms supermax is the most expensive prison per capita in the state — more than $90k per man. And all we get for it is men with mental illness, unable to transition to other prisons or their communities. (Many prisoners at Tamms have release dates — they are mostly not lifers.) The time has come to close it down. The prisoners there can be safely and much more cheaply housed at other maximum security prisons.


  11. - Stooges - Tuesday, Feb 21, 12 @ 3:30 pm:

    Not only is the state broke,but now it will become unable to function in even its most basic services.


  12. - Don't Worry About the Government - Tuesday, Feb 21, 12 @ 4:10 pm:

    They could just eliminate the FOID card program.


  13. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Feb 21, 12 @ 5:02 pm:

    –I am very curious as to where these state facilities are located.–

    Why’s that? Is the state supposed to be the employer of first resort in some areas?

    You want cuts, here they come. Sell it.


  14. - western illinois - Tuesday, Feb 21, 12 @ 5:50 pm:

    He could just shut down DNR and close the hunting seasons. How will rural budget hawks like that one


  15. - Wickedred - Tuesday, Feb 21, 12 @ 6:16 pm:

    Only Chicago dd/mi facility is Tinley Park. Some of the detention centers are Chicago area. Everything else is downstate.
    I’m truly scared for the people being affected. We haven’t recovered from the losses 10 years ago with the last early retirement. And now they will want us to do more with even less?
    Cut some of those management positions that have been created down in Springfield or in Chicago. There is a whole layer of staff that don’t do the front line work, just shuffle paper from there to the top.
    And they still don’t care that there are no places for people to move to who are being kicked out of their residences. Insanity.


  16. - bartelby - Tuesday, Feb 21, 12 @ 6:24 pm:

    I note that Sen. Forby is already tweeting and posting to try and save Tamms from the chopping block. But protecting jobs is not a reason to maintain a cruel, unusual, inefficient, unnecessary and expensive (make that EXPENSIVE) and prison. It is wrong to sacrifice prisoners’ mental health, and the Illinois taxpayer’s wallet to protect a few jobs. There must be other ways to develop the economy of Southern Illinois than by supporting a facility condemned by human rights monitors worldwide and that costs (according to the investigation of the Belleville News Democrat), $90,000 per year per prisoner! Use just half that money to hire people to build parks, cut trails, rebuild roads and make the area a real tourist destination. It is beautiful down there!


  17. - Retired Non-Union Guy - Tuesday, Feb 21, 12 @ 6:46 pm:

    TCB @ 2:43

    Maybe I’m too cynical but they won’t cut contractual services much; if they did that, there’s no contractors to ‘get’ campaign contributions from … not that that ever happens ;-)


  18. - anonymous - Tuesday, Feb 21, 12 @ 8:42 pm:

    This fiscal year, the Dept of Revenue was one of the deliberately underfunded agencies. Why not cut it back another 9%, just to see if it can continue to collect taxes?


  19. - Kevin Highland - Tuesday, Feb 21, 12 @ 9:40 pm:

    Since the beginning of the Fiscal year the Department of Revenue has seen 10%-15% of its headcount retire also. Another 9% cut would cripple the agency.


  20. - wishbone - Tuesday, Feb 21, 12 @ 9:52 pm:

    “They could just eliminate the FOID card program.”

    And the silly war on drugs. Two steps toward more freedom.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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