Gov. Quinn will again propose state facility closures to balance Illinois budget

Feb 16, 2012

Gov. Pat Quinn says he'll propose closing "quite a few" Illinois state facilities in his budget address next week.

Quinn, a Democrat, did not give the Associated Press any specifics about the closures, saying details will come during his budget address next Wednesday.

Last September, Quinn said he would close seven state facilities and lay of 1,900 workers because the Illinois General Assembly had not appropriated enough money to operate them. In late November, the governor reached a deal with top legislative leaders to keep the facilities open.

Last month, Quinn again announced plans to close two of those seven facilities - a Tinley Park mental hospital and and a Jacksonville center for people with developmental disabilities - in what he called an effort to move people out of state-run institutions and into community care settings like group homes. His budget office says those closures will save about $20 million.

His proposal is also expected to include cuts to Medicaid. The state's 2011 budget slashed the money available to reimburse hospitals who take Medicaid patients, but did not cut the actual reimbursement rate, which only added to the state's backlog of unpaid bills.