* Kurt Erickson reports…
Gov. Pat Quinn’s push to close the Warren G. Murray Developmental Center in Centralia took another step back Monday.
Clinton County Judge Dennis Middendorff ruled that no wards of the state currently housed at the center can be transferred to other facilities or smaller, group homes until further hearings are held.
The ruling comes after a separate federal court ruling earlier this month barred the administration from transferring residents with private guardians while the matter is being litigated.
The Friends of Murray Center, consisting of parents of residents at the facility, is suing to stop the governor from moving forward with the closure of Murray and the dispersal of 270-plus residents.
Quinn announced last year he wanted to close Murray in October 2013. He was successful in shuttering the Jacksonville Developmental Center earlier this year.
The biggest plank in a 2012 law designed to save the state $1.6 billion a year and help shore up Illinois’ Medicaid program was a strengthened effort to remove ineligible people from the rolls.
The future and effectiveness of that effort, however, remain in doubt after an arbitrator’s ruling that orders the state to cancel its contract with the governmental consulting company Maximus by the end of December.
The administration of Gov. Pat Quinn hasn’t decided yet whether to appeal arbitrator Edwin Benn’s ruling or hire the estimated 100 additional state workers who would be needed to completely take over the work Maximus has done since January.
Um, y’all might want to make a decision soon. Just sayin…
* Other stuff…
* South Loop land deals at the corner of business and politics: The company and its executives have been regular supporters of Quinn, who appoints members to McPier’s board. The company has contributed more than $35,000 to the governor’s campaign fund, including twice picking up the tab for food and beverage expenses likely tied to fundraisers.
* OfficeMax tax debate so far not like Sears: State Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie, a Chicago Democrat and House Speaker Michael Madigan’s No. 2, said there’s no agreed-to way to move forward. “There is no clear plan at this point,” she said.
* A Chicago privatization deal that doesn’t suck
* Lawmakers, Advocacy Groups To Hold Hearings On Sexual Abuse in IL Juvenile Detention Centers