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
  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
  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
  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.

AFSCME | Energized for the Fight

By Sec.-Treas. Lee A. Saunders

Since the attacks on AFSCME members began, I’ve traveled coast to coast to stand with the social workers, corrections officers, nurses and school bus drivers of our union. I’ve seen us respond with energy, determination and, above all, the optimism that comes from believing that together, we can win.

We understand how difficult these battles are. Yet even in the face of the short-term defeats that have come our way, we have been resilient. Our sisters’ and brothers’ strength has inspired not just members of our union, and not just other labor movement activists, but also workers throughout our nation who, until now, have felt ignored and demoralized.

Concern About the Future

Everywhere I’ve gone, I’ve seen members of our AFSCME family get angry — but anger has stoked activism and made us want to fight back. It also inspired members to get their friends and neighbors involved and to bring other activists and organizations onto the frontlines. We’ve built strong coalitions in every place we’re under attack, because people now understand that it’s not just union members or workers in state and local governments whose security is threatened; the American dream itself is at risk.

I was in New York City this past spring to protest the mayor’s drastic proposal for child care cuts. During the rally, a District Council 1707 member said to me, “This is not about our jobs. This is about what happens to these children. If we don’t take care of our kids, what does that say about us?” It was a simple statement — but it spoke volumes about this sister’s concern for the future.

Outpouring of Support

When I was in Madison, Wis., I was astounded by the outpouring of support for our members, who are the backbone of every community. Union members, of course, came out in droves — including police officers and firefighters who were exempted from the worst parts of the governor’s anti-union law, but stood with us nonetheless. Even more remarkable, however, were the students, retirees, farmers and environmentalists who joined us.

In this tough year, AFSCME has actually grown stronger. These fights focused us on what we do well, and what we can do better. For instance, we have partnered with affiliates, not only sending financial help, but developing plans of action and committing other resources to help execute those plans.

Here are a few other examples:

We’ve also created new tools, such as legislative hotlines through which AFSCME members placed nearly 100,000 calls.

We invested in an aggressive Facebook campaign to defeat a paycheck deception bill. More than 850,000 people saw the campaign, and whether they were Democrats, Republicans or Independents, many of them liked what we had to say.

Through the new Faces and Voices program, rank-and-file members are trained as spokespersons, using their personal stories and facts from their home states to speak up for public services and workers’ rights. Paul Brewer, a Council 79 member, said the training helped him get a letter-to-the-editor published and deliver a clear, succinct message in a television interview.

Pull Together

There’s no doubt these are challenging times. And it looks as though things will not get easier anytime soon. But in these kinds of times, you face a choice: Hope that the same old tactics will result in victory, or pull together and fight back with new energy and new strategies. Our union has made the right decision.

via AFSCME | Energized for the Fight.

AFSCME | No Link Between State Budget Deficits and Public Sector Unions

by Jon Melegrito | October 13, 2011

There is no link between state budget deficits and public sector unions. That’s the definitive finding of a study (PDF) released this week by the University of California, Berkeley.

Commenting on the report from the university’s Center for Labor Research and Education and Center for Wage and Employment Dynamics, the Economic Policy Institute correctly points out that it’s the recession and housing bubble that caused state budget deficits, not public sector workers or their unions.

Titled “The Wrong Target: Public Sector Unions and State Budget Deficits,” the 12-page study demolishes one of the myths that too many right-wing politicians and propagandists cling to: That public service employees are to blame for the problems facing state governments. (Ezra Klein’s excellent piece on WashingtonPost.com last year made a powerful argument that the problems facing state governments are because of the failure of Wall Street and the horrible economy.)

This latest report – which was based on the authors’ analysis of data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Federal Housing Finance Agency – clearly refutes myths about the role public sector unions play in the current state budget crisis. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) used this exact bogus claim to justify stripping public service workers of collective bargaining rights. Walker later admitted that his so-called budget repair bill had nothing to do with balancing the state’s budget.

As Klein aptly puts it in a Washington Post piece, Unions Aren’t to Blame for Wisconsin’s Budget: “Blame the banks. Blame global capital flows. Blame lax regulation of Wall Street. Blame home buyers, or home sellers. But don’t blame the unions. Not for this recession.”

via AFSCME | No Link Between State Budget Deficits and Public Sector Unions.

Search Continues For Inmate On The Run


The search continues for a QC inmate on the run.

“Right now we’re using assets from both the Illinois State Police, the Illinois Department of Corrections and the Rock Island County Sheriff’s Department,” said Rock Island County Capt. Gerry Bustos.

Police said 43-year-old Doss Kuykendall escaped Wednesday afternoon from East Moline Correctional Center. They said he has brown hair, blue eyes, he’s about 5’8″ and weighs 190 pounds. Police said he’s wearing gray sweats, a white hooded sweatshirt, a black stocking cap and prescription glasses.

Police are now trying to hunt him down in Cordova. Officers said Kuykendall is very fit and fast. They say corn fields are making it harder for them to pin him down.

“One of the problems we have is there’s still a lot of standing corn and they’re good places to hide,” Bustos said.

Police said the last place they saw Kuykendall was near Route 84 and now they’re searching by land and air to find him. They believe he’s been getting around by stealing bikes from homes in Cordova.

“Obviously we have a bike path that’s right next to the north end of the county here and so its that area that we’re starting to focus on and just to let people know of they’re out and about,” Bustos said.

Police said Kuykendall has spent time in Cordova on work–release as a trustee. They said he was serving a 20 year sentence for burglary. Police are asking folks to lock their doors and cars and not to approach him.

via East Moline convict escapes, flees to Cordova – CBS4 RTV4 WHBF Quad Cities, IL-IA News Weather Sports.

ThinkProgress » Scott Walker Admits Union-Busting Provision ‘Doesn’t Save Any’ Money For The State Of Wisconsin

Today, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform called Govs. Scott Walker (R-WI) and Peter Shumlin (D-VT) to testify in a hearing titled “State and Municipal Debt: Tough Choices Ahead.” Much of the hearing was spent probing Wisconsin’s spate of anti-union restrictions it recently passed.

At one point, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) confronted Walker about his crackdown on public employee unions. The congressman referenced a provision Walker signed into law that would require union members to vote every year to continue their membership. Kucinich asked the governor how much money the state would save from the provision. Walker repeatedly dodged the question and eventually admitted that it actually wouldn’t save anything at all.

Kucinich then asked Walker how much money would be saved by barring union dues from being drawn from employee paychecks, another provision of Walker’s legislation. Walker claimed that it would save workers money, but was unable to explain how it would save the state any money. Kucinich then produced a document from the Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau, the state’s equivalent of the Congressional Budget Office, that concluded that Walker’s measures were “nonfiscal” — meaning they had no impact on the state’s finances. Kucinich asked that the letter be included in the public record, but Chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) refused:

Walker’s admission is crucial because he had long claimed that his anti-union “budget repair bill” was designed to save the state money, not bust unions. But his words today echo those of Wisconsin state senate leader Scott Fitzgerald (R), who last month effectively admitted that the union fights are not about budgetary issues, but rather about winning the next election by depleting the ranks of organized labor.
via ThinkProgress » Scott Walker Admits Union-Busting Provision ‘Doesn’t Save Any’ Money For The State Of Wisconsin.

Hiding senators held in contempt; layoff notices to go out today – JSOnline

Pressure ratcheted up on absent Senate Democrats on Thursday, as they were found in contempt by GOP senators and Gov. Scott Walker said he will start sending layoff notices to state workers Friday if the standoff over his budget-repair bill isnt resolved.

Along with the finding of contempt came an order that law enforcement detain Democrats and bring them to the Senate chambers – an order that critics said was prohibited under the state constitution.

Walker said he hoped not to lay off anyone but would have to issue the notices because his plan to fill a hole in the state budget is stalled. Democrats have said that Walker has other options and does not need to resort to layoffs.

“Even today I hold out some hope that this can be resolved by the Senate coming back,” Walker said in an interview Thursday. “But by the end of the day tomorrow, we have a legal and a moral obligation to start forewarning people.”

At the same time, the Republican governor said his administration was in talks with Democrats, and he also showed a sign for the first time in the budget crisis that he might be willing to make at least one marginal change to his budget-repair bill. But Walker remained firm on the core of the proposal, which would eliminate most collective bargaining for public employee unions.

Meanwhile, one key Democratic senator involved in talks with Republicans said he no longer believed that his side could win over enough GOP senators to defeat Walker’s bill.

Read the full article here: Hiding senators held in contempt; layoff notices to go out today – JSOnline.

Wis. union bill nears one vote, but not in Senate

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Here’s a great clip that defends public services:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Stop the Lies: Glenn Beck Attacks AFSCME

AFSCME video: ‘We’re out there every day’ – AFSCME Council 31

Tired of watching the media barrage of attacks on public employees? Click for a refreshing change of pace, as this AFSCME video defends government and the people who provide public services.

Strong public services for a strong America — that’s patriotic!