By Jamey Dunn, Illinois Issues
An arbitrator ruled Friday that Gov. Pat Quinn’s plans to close several state corrections facilities violates union contracts. The American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees sued earlier this month to block the closure of seven state facilities. The union and the administration agreed to take the issue to an arbitrator. Most of the facilities were scheduled to close August 31, but Quinn agreed to put a temporary hold on the closures while legal proceedings played out
It wasn't a good week for the Governor. Friday's ruling came only a day after Cook County Circuit Court Judge Richard Billik Jr. told Quinn to submit vouchers to the comptroller’s office for AFSCME pay raises, which are also under dispute.
"As we work to move Illinois forward by closing tax payer funded facilities the state no longer needs that are empty, half full, outdated and expensive to operate--it is disappointing that progress to make Illinois a better place and to put its financial house in order continues to be halted," Kelly Kraft, a Quinn spokeswoman, said in a written statement. "We remain committed to our closure plans and are eager to resolve this matter as quickly as possible."
You can read Jamey's full report at: http://illinoisissuesblog.blogspot.com/2012/09/arbitrator-prison-closures-violate.html