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State Rep. Says Some Facilities Need To Close

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Illinois State Capitol

Illinois State Capitol buillding in Springfield (AP Photo)

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) — Plans to a prison and several mental health facilities in Illinois are getting a thumbs down from many lawmakers, but not some say such measures may be necessary.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Dave Dahl reports, Gov. Pat Quinn announced plans to close seven facilities because lawmakers didn’t provide enough funding for next year’s budget.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Dave Dahl reports

On the chopping block are the Logan Correctional Center in Lincoln, the Tinley Park Mental Health Center, the Jacksonville Developmental Center, mental health facilities in Rockford and Chester, the Mabley Developmental Center in Dixon, and the Illinois Youth Center in Murphysboro.

Quinn announced the plans for layoffs and facility closures in September, blaming Illinois lawmakers for sending him a budget that had $2.2 billion less in revenue than he wanted.

Speaking in the minority during a meeting of the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability, state Rep. Elaine Nekritz (D-Northbrook) said some facilities do need to close – and perhaps sooner rather than later.

“We are going to have troubles getting through this fiscal year, as we’ve heard. This is not going to get easier. It’s going to get more difficult,” Nekritz said, “and the sooner we start to staunch some of the bleeding, I think the easier it will be for us in the long run.”

The advisory commission has recommended that all the facilities remain open.

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