Illinois House allows prison cuts to stand
SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn won a contentious legislative battle over prison closures – along with ability to direct millions in state money toward child services – on Wednesday, capping off a shortened veto session that featured a new pension proposal and movement on a plan to allow illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses.
Quinn, a Chicago Democrat, had proposed cutting $56 million from the state’s budget and shutting down two prisons, two juvenile detention centers and three halfway houses, a plan a major union opposed and took to the courts.
It appeared lawmakers were also ready to reject the idea after the state senators voted last week to override Quinn’s decision. An override in the House would have locked up the money, but House lawmakers skipped a vote and adjourned Wednesday, allowing the cuts to stand. House Speaker Mike Madigan didn’t think calling a vote was a “necessary action to take,” said his spokesman Steve Brown.
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