Miles south of Springfield, much less Chicago, the 59th district
state senate race at the southern tip of Illinois between incumbent
Democrat Gary Forby (pictured) and Republican challenger Mark Minor is often a
contest of who can best criticize Gov. Pat Quinn, the state’s Democratic
governor who hails from the Windy City.
“Beating up on Chicago is a time-honored tradition in southern Illinois,” says John Jackson a political
science professor at the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern
Illinois. “The Democrat is running against the governor as hard as the
Quinn is taking a beating for reasons that go beyond a general wariness of Chicago politicians.
Gov. Pat Quinn scored a big victory Friday in his plan to balance
the state budget. Arbitrator Steve Biereg ruled that the state acted
reasonably in the June ordering of the shut down of seven different
corrections and juvenile justice facilities.
However, the legal
clash between Quinn and the AFSCME Council 31 public
employees union over the closings continues. The conflict will now stretch past the
election and, quite possibly, the Illinois General Assembly’s fall veto
session scheduled for late November.
Governor Pat Quinn’s decision to shutter Tamms Correctional Center, effective August 31, in order to save money is a landmark victory
for prison reform advocates who spent a decade fighting to close the facility that has held inmates for years in 24-hour solitary confinement.
are ending the era of solitary confinement,” says Laurie Jo Reynolds,
an organizer with the Tamms Year Ten coalition, which ran a legislative
campaign to close the prison. Reynolds noted that other states, such as
Mississippi and Maine, also recently shut down solitary confinement
facilities and U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) conducted a
Senate hearing last week on solitary confinement.
unilateral action goes against the wishes of the Illinois
General Assembly. It also further alienates the governor from AFSCME Council
31, the union representing many of the state's public employees. The union is steadfastly against the closings and other Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC) shut downs, even though the governor's office says the moves will result in no public employee layoffs.