Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed legislation Friday that sought to reopen the Hardin County Work Camp in Cave-In-Rock, Illinois.
Inmates who were housed at the minimum security prison facility learned job and life skills. The facility closed last January “as a result of high maintenance and repair costs from a fire at the Camp,” according to Rauner’s veto message.
Lawmakers who are concerned about what the camp’s closure will mean for the economic well-being of the surrounding area passed a bill last legislative session to reopen the facility.
“While I appreciate the impact of this facility closure on the local economy, forcing the Department of Corrections to reopen the Camp is an unnecessary spend of taxpayer dollars,” Rauner said in vetoing the bill. “The funds required to complete the repairs are not within the Department’s budget nor were they appropriated in any budget proposed by the General Assembly.”
State Sen. Gary Forby (D-Benton) sponsored the legislation in the Senate. He is among the state lawmakers upset over Rauner’s veto.
“Am I disappointed? Yes. Am I shocked? No,” Forby told the Herald and Review. “This governor doesn’t give a lick about Southern Illinois. He’s just another snake oil salesman from Chicago. Closing down state facilities in parts of the state that truly need an economic boost just doesn’t make sense.”