Amid the focus in Springfield yesterday on pensions, the General Assembly passed its entire budget for fiscal year 2013, which begins July 1. The package delivered an expected rebuke of Gov. Pat Quinn’s plan to close multiple state facilities.
The Tamms supermax prison, a women’s prison in Dwight, the mental health center in Tinley Park, and developmentally disabled centers in Jacksonville and Centralia all received funding to stay open, along with smaller state facilities Quinn wants closed.
However, the governor may opt to close the mental health and developmentally disabled centers, and Tamms will no longer be a supermax facility.
A proposal by Gov. Pat Quinn to close multiple state facilities – including prisons and also centers for the mentally ill and developmentally disabled – could unravel.
“In Springfield, proposed facility closures are not infrequent, but enacting the closures are,” acknowledged John Maki, director of the John Howard Association, a prison reform group lobbying to close the supermax prison in Tamms, but lobbying to keep open the women’s prison in Dwight.
Hundreds of protesters were met by dozens of Chicago police officers
outfitted with riot gear in front of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s North Side
Ravenswood home Saturday afternoon. While the Mayor wasn’t home, his
house was guarded by a line of officers who created a makeshift barrier
using their bicycles.
The protesters, many of whom sat down in the middle of North Hermitage Avenue for about 20 minutes, decried Emanuel’s closing of six city mental health facilities. Some of the mental health advocates in attendance were patients of the now-defunct clinics.