Gov. Pat Quinn's $36.8 billion spending blueprint for fiscal year 2015 contains some notable proposals that did not receive much attention last week after the governor's budget address.
First, the governor wants to see two youth correctional facilities that were recently mothballed used as centers to house adult offenders. Quinn would like to use the shuttered youth detention center in Murphysboro as a state alcohol addiction treatment facility for 400 people convicted of drunk driving. The proposed facility would “operate on a system of restorative justice, allowing offenders to go back to the community and promote community service,” Abdon Pallasch, the administration's assistant budget director, told the Associated Press.
Under the governor's plan, the recently-closed Joliet Youth home would serve as a center for some Department of Corrections inmates who have severe mental illness.
Meanwhile, the Community Based Organizations for Violence Prevention program would see its funding completely erased under the governor's plan. The Community Based Organizations for Violence Prevention took the place of the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative, a taxpayer-funded program that was implemented by the Illinois Violence Prevention Authority and was found to be 'inadequate' by a recent state audit.
The spending blueprint also calls for a 30 percent funding increase for the governor's office of management and budget in order to bring on additional staffers due to the "addition of a new requirement that would audit state grants and is housed in the governor's office,” Pallasch told the news organization. Pallasch was referring to pending legislation, sponsored by State Rep. Fred Crespo (D-Hoffman Estates), that would require the rules for auditing and reviewing federal grants to be also applied to state-level grants.
Additionally, the governor's proposed budget calls for a 28 percent funding increase for the State Fire Marshal's office mainly for a loan program that assists local fire departments when they need to purchase new vehicles.