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Quinn Signs Deal To Keep Mental Health Facilities Open

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Gov. Pat Quinn (Credit: CBS)

Gov. Pat Quinn (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Gov. Pat Quinn signed a budget deal into effect Monday aimed at avoiding the closure of seven mental health centers.

As WBBM Newsradio’s John Waelti reports, just a month ago, protesters rallied outside the office of Mayor Rahm Emanuel at City Hall, in opposition to plans to close mental health clinics in the city.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s John Waelti reports

But after some creative accounting at the state level, Gov. Quinn says Illinois now has enough money to avoid nearly 2,000 layoffs and the closure of seven state facilities – including a prison and centers for the developmentally disabled and mentally ill.

Education advocates may not be happy with the new law, though. To keep the facilities open, Quinn used his veto power to divert $89 million in funding that helps schools pay for transporting students.

The facilities that had been on the chopping block included 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 first 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.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS Radio and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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