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The last few days I have heard Thom praising Gov. Pat Quinn on his show for being a good progressive. I regret to inform Thom that Gov. Quinn of Illinois is not a genuine progressive. At the beginning of the fiscal year 2012 in July of 2011 Quinn blocked scheduled cost of living expense pay raises (many of which had been deferred the previous two years) and negotiated incremental (step) raises, Quinn said lawmakers didn't provide enough money to provide the required raises and still keep government running for a full year. He didn't even try to negotiate a reduction or deferment. The raises would have cost the state about 75 million dollars. At the end of 2011 Quinn signed off on a deal that gives a few corporations, SEARS AND CHICAGO MERCENTILE EXCHANGE big tax breaks to the tune of 330 MILLION because they threatened to move out of the state. Two weeks after the passage of that bill SEARS cut hundreds of jobs anyway. Just yesterday Gov. Quinn proposed a dismal fiscal year 2013 budget cutting many state agencies and slashing the budgets of the remaining by 9%. The deepest cuts appear to be in the Illinois Department of Corrections and states mental health facilities.
"The governor trumpeted the closure of 14 state facilities as the centerpiece of his FY13 budget proposal. In addition to the previously announced closures of Jacksonville Developmental Center and Tinley Park Mental Health Center, Quinn now says he wants to shutter Dwight CC, Tamms CC, Singer MHC, Murray DC, IYC Murphysboro, IYC Joliet and six DOC Adult Transitional Centers."
"The DOC budget would cut parole staff by 50%. The DHS budget would consolidate 24 offices. And the Illinois State Police budget would close the forensics lab in Carbondale, as well as all telecommunications centers except those in Chicago, Springfield, DuQuoin and Sterling."
Henry Bayer, AFSCME
The prison closures would make more sense if they were not the only super max prison and the only female prison in the state, and if some low profile non-violent offenders could be released with monitoring devices. It is my opinion that there is no intension of closing these two prisons, and that these proposed layoffs are going to be used as a bargaining chip to decimate IDOC state employee pensions and pay. These employees currently pay 8.5% of their salary into their pension system. Ever since the state has been allowed to include pension monies in its budget, and up until last year (when a law was passed mandating it) it has neglected to make its required payments into the pension system. This smells a lot like the POST OFFICE’S required pension payment scam to me. Legislation to fund pension payments should have been done when the economy was inflated. Now it is being used as a wedge issue. Closing mental health facilities will probably result in more incarcerations and homelessness putting more burden on the human condition and more stress on the budget of other state agencies.
“The purpose of government is to enable the people of a nation to live in safety and happiness. Government exists for the interests of the governed, not for the governors.”
― Thomas Jefferson
The stench of corporate corruption permeates every branch of Illinois government, and Governor Pat Quinn stinks of it too.