Union: Quinn Is Striking Backroom Deals To Close Mental Health Centers

CHICAGO (CBS) — Leaders at the state’s largest public employee union are taking issue with what they believe are backroom deals being struck by Gov. Pat Quinn to close state mental health centers.

As WBBM Newsradio’s John Waelti reports, Anders Lindall of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) says last fall, Quinn pledged that any plans to close state mental health centers would be made publicly, with the input and community members of those affected. But that’s not what’s happening, according to Lindall.

“Instead, the governor has had a handful of top administration officials meeting behind closed doors with no public notice, and with no attention toward the needs of the people who rely on disability services,” he said.

The governor’s office tells WBBM Newsradio that Governor Quinn “has brought together advocates and experts in the field” and is “taking the recommendations from all involved” in making its decisions.

Quinn adds that his office will soon be making an announcement on the fate of the institutions. Temporary funding to stave off closures will run out at the end of June.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s John Waelti reports

  • Bob

    Someone has to make the tough decisions to save the state money!!

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  • eh

    Maybe the tough decisions should be to cut their benefits to save money in our state, and maybe Governor Quinn should take care of the displaced mentally ill people after he closes the only homes in which they live. These institutions not only provide housing for them but have programs designed to help them socially and mentally survive and function in the world in which they live. Without this they will be wondering helplessly throughout our communities without structure and the help that they so desperately need.

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