* I’m sure this will come as a relief to the employees, but all this for a million bucks?…
The proposed closure of a Southern Illinois prison work camp will not result in any of the workers losing their jobs, a new report says.
In a letter outlining Gov. Bruce Rauner’s plan to shutter the 35-year-old Hardin County Work Camp, state prison officials say there are enough vacancies at the Shawnee and Vienna prisons to accommodate the 61 employees currently working at the camp. […]
In June, Rauner announced the closure of the 280-inmate work camp and the Illinois State Museum as part of a cost-cutting move after lawmakers sent him a spending plan that was more than $3 billion short of revenue. […]
According to the report, the closure will save an estimated $1 million annually. The state also can avoid having to spend as much as $9.8 million in construction upgrades, including a new kitchen, electrical work and water treatment improvements.
Gov. Bruce Rauner has quietly signed a measure to spend another $5.5 million on the proposed Illiana expressway, raising questions about whether he’s seeking to keep the project on financial life support.
Several weeks ago, Rauner shelved the controversial south suburban toll road with a flourish:
“In light of the state’s current fiscal crisis and a lack of sufficient capital resources, the Illiana will not move forward at this time,” his office said then in a statement. “It is the determination of the Illinois Department of Transportation that the project costs exceed currently available resources. The department will begin the process of suspending all existing project contracts and procurements.” Rauner also ordered the road removed from the state’s five-year road program.
But on June 30, Rauner signed a bill that includes$5,491,724 for the Illiana, even as he knocked out money for other projects, such as land acquisition for the proposed south suburban airport at Peotone. The bill said the money would “enable the Illiana Expressway to be developed, financed, constructed or operated.” […]
With talk persisting in Springfield that Rauner wants to keep the project alive as trade bait with south suburban officials, this subject is worth keeping a close eye on.