(Springfield, IL) – Illinois’ seven endangered prisons and mental health facilities will stay open for at least the next six months after lawmakers gave Gov. Pat Quinn the power to shift nearly $300 million inside the state budget.
But more importantly, lawmakers also said they sent the governor this clear message: He must not threaten to close state facilities to get what he wants from the state budget.
Lawmakers on Tuesday approved this new spending authority for Quinn. The House approved it with a 92-20 vote and the Senate with a 50-5 vote.
The money, which was taken from Illinois’ regional superintendents, school transportation accounts and the Medicaid budget by delaying payment on more Medicaid bills, will keep the seven sites open through the end of June.
(Springfield, IL) — June 1, 2011. Illinois’ new budget may spend less than Gov. Pat Quinn’s original proposal, but it is higher than this past year’s budget and was balanced by delaying the payment of billions of dollars in unpaid bills until this current fiscal year.
“The governor has been clear … that while we put our fiscal house in order, we must continue to protect core priorities,” said Kelly Kraft, Quinn’s budget spokeswoman.
Quinn is “reviewing” the budget’s impact on human services and schools statewide, Kraft said, which were among those items lawmakers trimmed to reduce spending from Quinn’s $36 billion to $33.2 billion.