Facility Closure Act Summary

Here is a summary of the Facility Closure Act.

State Facility Closures

Per the State Facilities Closure Act (30 ILCS 608), “State facility” means any facility (i) that is owned and operated by the State or leased and operated by the State and (ii) that is the primary stationary work location for 25 or more State employees. “State facility” does not include any facility under the jurisdiction of the legislative branch, including the Auditor General, or the judicial branch.

Before a State facility may be closed:

  1. The State executive branch officer with jurisdiction over the facility shall file notice of the
    proposed closure with the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability
    within 2 days after the first public announcement of any planned or proposed closure
  2. Within 10 days after it receives notice of the proposed closure, the Commission, in its
    discretion, may require the State executive branch officer with jurisdiction over the facility
    to file a recommendation for the closure of the facility with the Commission.
    In the case of a proposed closure of: (i) a prison, youth center, work camp, or work release
    center operated by the Department of Corrections; (ii) a school, mental health center, or
    center for the developmentally disabled operated by the Department of Human Services; or
    (iii) a residential facility operated by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, the Commission
    must require the executive branch officers to file a recommendation for closure.
  3. The recommendation must be filed within 30 days after the Commission delivers the
    request for recommendation to the State executive branch officer.
  4. A 30 day public comment period must follow the filing of the recommendation.
  5. The Commission, in its discretion, may conduct one or more public hearings on the
    recommendation. In the case of a proposed closure of: (i) a prison, youth center, work
    camp, or work release center operated by the Department of Corrections; (ii) a school,
    mental health center, or center for the developmentally disabled operated by the Department
    of Human Services; or (iii) a residential facility operated by the Department of Veterans’
    Affairs, the Commission must conduct one or more public hearings on the
    recommendation.
  6. Public hearings conducted by the Commission shall be conducted no later than 35 days
    after the filing of the recommendation. At least one of the public hearings on the
    recommendation shall be held at a convenient location within 25 miles of the facility for
    which closure is recommended. The Commission shall provide reasonable notice of the
    comment period and of any public hearings to the public and to units of local government
    and school districts that are located within 25 miles of the facility.
  7. Within 50 days after the State executive branch officer files the required recommendation, the Commission shall issue an advisory opinion on that recommendation. The Commission shall file the advisory opinion with the appropriate State executive branch officer, the Governor, the General Assembly, and the Index Department of the Office of the Secretary of State and shall make copies of the advisory opinion available to the public upon request.

The recommendation for closure must include:

  1. the location and identity of the State facility proposed to be closed;
  2. the number of employees for which the State facility is the primary stationary work location
    and the effect of the closure of the facility on those employees;
  3. the location or locations to which the functions and employees of the State facility would be
    moved;
  4. the availability and condition of land and facilities at both the existing location and any
    potential locations;
  5. the ability to accommodate the functions and employees at the existing and at any potential
    locations;
  6. the cost of operations of the State facility and at any potential locations and any other
    related budgetary impacts;
  7. the economic impact on existing communities in the vicinity of the State facility and any
    potential facility;
  8. the ability of the existing and any potential community’s infrastructure to support the
    functions and employees;
  9. the impact on State services delivered at the existing location, in direct relation to the State
    services expected to be delivered at any potential locations; and
  10. the environmental impact, including the impact of costs related to potential environmental
    restoration, waste management, and environmental compliance activities.

The requirements of the State Facilities Closure Act do not apply if all of the functions and employees of a State facility are relocated to another State facility that is within 10 miles of the closed facility.

Interesting…

A lot of news articles come into this site’s e-mail address. Most of them I delete as they are not pertinent to the site or the local. Recently the site received a link to a court opinion written by the Honorable Amy J. St. Eve on 11/22/2011. The opinion was written in response to a lawsuit which isn’t very interesting or has anything to do with the local.

What is interesting in the short, 3 page document is a two sentence paragraph towards the bottom of the second page which reads:

Plaintiff is also advised that the Eleventh Amendment bars suit against the State and state agencies. See, e.g., Joseph v. Board of Regents of University of Wisconsin System, 432 F.3d 746, 748 (7th Cir. 2005). Therefore, the Illinois Department of Corrections is not a suable entity.

Basically, what this is saying is that because of the 11th amendment to the US constitution any state or state agency in the nation cannot be sued. So if the state violates a contract, it cannot be sued for breach of contract. If you are walking down the street and are run over by a state vehicle, the state cannot be sued. If you feel you are wronged by the state or any state agency then you are out of luck because you cannot file a lawsuit against that state or state agency. Read more of this >>

We Are Experiencing Technical Difficulties, Please Stand By.

Ever hear that on TV when you were a kid? Do they even have those announcements anymore? Whatever the case, that is what the next post is going through right now – technical difficulties.

I had taken a rather long video (about an hour) of the We Are One Rally in Kankakee figuring I’d upload it to the site. Being the frugal, (ok, cheap!) person that I am I thought I’d save some bandwidth and host it on the local’s youtube channel and just embed it on the site.

After an hour and a half of rendering the video to the format that youtube uses I started the upload. Although it was already in the format that youtube uses, youtube wants to render the video itself and takes another two hours to render a video that really doesn’t need it. GRRR!!!

As of now, the file is done uploading and I have the message “We are now processing the video…”. I don’t know how long it will take, but it’s getting late in the day and I have to get to work. What’s worse is that I doubt that youtube will accept the video. I forgot that youtube won’t accept videos over 15 minutes! Double GRRRRR!!!

I’ll let them continue processing the video, just in the slight chance that they will allow it to be posted. If not, I’ll edit it into 4 or 5 parts and upload them separately.

As they used to say… “Please Stand By”

BREAKING NEWS: WI Governor Scott Walker Fires Himself

Taking a cue from Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker today declared the state of Wisconsin to be in a “state of financial emergency” and has fired all state and local elected officials and employees, including himself.

According to former-spokesperson April oloF, former-governor Walker originally had intended to exclude himself, and a few other chosen bureaucrats, but a paperwork mistake failed to mention those exclusions. The declaration also dissolved all towns, local school districts, state courts, and voided all local and state contracts.

“I’m going to my home now in what used to be called Madison,” said April oloF. “I would go apply for unemployment, but that office is now shut down too. Maybe I’ll move to what used to be Green Bay. Or maybe somewhere out in the country, since there aren’t any fire or police departments anymore.”

A call to what used to be the Secretary of State’s office for verification went unanswered.

The Corrections Corporation Of America – The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

Graeme Wood profiles the leading privatized prison, which specializes in holding illegal aliens:

“Judy Greene, a criminal justice expert at Justice Strategies, a Brooklyn-based nonprofit research group, says that when contract prisons do save money, they often do so at the expense of their labor.

At the privately operated prisons, she says, “labor is cheap, wages are lower, and benefits are few. And across the board you see the impact of that.” The rate of escapes, violence, and contraband in the private facilities tends to be higher than in their public counterparts, she says. [The Corrections Corporation Of America CCA] denies this and says its rates have compared favorably with the public sector. Friedmann tells an anecdote about a CCA guard who requested a 10-foot pole to let him poke into trash cans leaving the prison for the dump, so that he could more easily check whether someone was trying to sneak out in a can. The request for the pole was denied, and a prisoner escaped soon after.”

via The Corrections Corporation Of America – The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan.

Capitol Fax.com – Real cuts, believe it or not

The great budget cutter Chris Christie of New Jersey claims to have done yeoman’s work, but is somehow still facing a $10.5 billion budget deficit in the coming fiscal year, which is only $200 million less than this year’s deficit.

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels has a national reputation for being a budget hawk. Moderate Republicans have pinned their hopes on him for 2012. But what has he really cut? Check out this chart from Purdue University.

Daniels took office in January of 2005. Back then, Indiana was spending $11.75 billion. This year, state spending will be $14.45 billion. That’s a 23 percent increase.

Now, nobody can say that this state has been well-managed. You’d be laughed out of the room if you tried. But last night Gov. Pat Quinn’s office released some documents showing where real spending cuts have been made. $2.4 billion in Fiscal Year 2010 and $1.2 billion in FY11.

I strongly urge you to take a look at those documents. Those are real cuts in discretionary spending. That’s not to say total overall spending decreased by that much. Pay raises, pensions, health care, etc. all contributed to what’s known in the biz as “budgetary pressures.” Other spending has been moved off-budget. But stuff has been cut. Make no mistake about it.

What happens is the media latches onto a meme and just can’t let go. Illinois is the irresponsible state. New Jersey and Indiana are led by real deficit hawks. There is some truth to both statements, but it’s not reality.

via Capitol Fax.com – Your Illinois News Radar » Real cuts, believe it or not.

States Help Ex-Convicts Find Jobs – NYTimes.com

Faced with yawning budget gaps and high unemployment, California, Michigan, New York and several other states are attacking both problems with a surprising strategy: helping ex-convicts find jobs to keep them from ending up back in prison.

The approach is backed by prisoner advocates as well as liberal and conservative government officials, who say it pays off in cold, hard numbers. Michigan, for example, spends $35,000 a year to keep someone in prison — more than the cost of educating a University of Michigan student. Through vigorous job placement programs and prudent use of parole, state officials say they have cut the prison population by 7,500, or about 15 percent, over the last four years, yielding more than $200 million in annual savings. Michigan spends $56 million a year on various re-entry programs, including substance abuse treatment and job training.

“We had a $2 billion prison budget, and if you look at the costs saved by not having the system the size it was, we save a lot of money,” said Patricia Caruso, who was Michigan’s corrections commissioner from 2003 through 2010. “If we spend some of that $2 billion on something else — like re-entry programs — and that results in success, that’s a better approach.”

All told, the 50 states and the federal government spend $69 billion a year to house two million prisoners, prompting many budget cutters to see billions in potential savings by trimming the prison population. Each year, more than 600,000 inmates are released nationwide, but studies show that two-thirds are re-arrested within three years

Read the full article here: States Help Ex-Convicts Find Jobs – NYTimes.com.

morrisdailyherald.com | Marvin, McNamara tying the knot

Nicole Marvin and Eric McNamara will be united in marriage at 6 p.m. Saturday, June 25, 2011, in Dana, Ill. The bride-to-be is the daughter of Darla Marvin. The prospective groom’s parents are Kay McNamara of Bloomington, Ill., and Dan McNamara of Dana, Ill. Nicole is a 2004 graduate of Seneca Township High School and a 2008 graduate of Illinois Valley Community College. She is employed as a substance abuse counselor for the Wells Center at Dwight Correctional Center. Eric is a 2000 graduate of Fieldcrest High School. He is employed as a correctional officer at Dwight Correctional Center.

via morrisdailyherald.com | Marvin, McNamara tying the knot.

Found On The Net…

Don’t know if this is  true or not., just a snippet I found in my inbox.

All told, the Illinois Department of Corrections spends roughly $428 million a year—about a third of its annual budget—keeping elderly inmates behind bars.

Revised AFSCME pay raise schedule

Jan. 1: 1 percent

June 1: 2 percent

July 1: 2 percent

Jan. 1, 2012: 1.25 percent

Feb. 1, 2012: 2 percent

via AFSCME agrees to defer half of July 1 raises due state workers – Springfield, IL – The State Journal-Register.