State parks to remain open

Discussion in 'LOCAL ILLINOIS TALK' started by Brentkeele, Nov 21, 2008.

  1. Brentkeele

    Brentkeele New Member

    Messages:
    445
    State:
    Nokomis, Illinois
    I buzzed through an article on the front page of the State Journal Register this morning that said the governor restored funding to keep all eleven of the state parks slated for closure, open. No state park closures and no layoffs for those people, or the 300+ dhs workers that were going to face layoff.

    Unfortunately I think the historic sites are still supposed to close.

    And last but certainly not least, I attended a rally on wednesday where several hundred of us attending, marched into the capitol and up to the second floor to the door of the governor's office expressing our displeasure at his desire to close Pontiac Correctional Center. Unfortunately, it seems that the governor has his jaw set to close that institution by the end of the year. Keep the over 400 employees at that institution in your thoughts and prayers this holiday season as they face an uncertain future.
     
  2. catinaldatime

    catinaldatime New Member

    Messages:
    384
    State:
    Girard, IL
    Thank u for the update,Ive been wondering what was goin on!
     

  3. MRR

    MRR New Member

    Messages:
    4,947
    State:
    Louisiana,Mo.
    :confused2:Why does all the layoff and closers always seem to happen over the Christmas Season. Companies and the Government is so darn cruel.:sad2:Will keep all those workers in our thoughts and prayers.
     
  4. Mickey

    Mickey New Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    14,592
    State:
    Illinois
    Its sad that our present and pass governors threaten to close these prisons when they are already over crowded. Politics at its best. In our present case the governor may be afraid if he leaves Pontiac open he will end up there himself. I agree its sad to play with employees livelhood.
     
  5. capnmac59

    capnmac59 New Member

    Messages:
    38
    State:
    illinois
    says in todays springfield paper only 4 parks will remain open. 7 will close. funny 3 of the 4 parks are in northern illinois and 1 in peoria area. seems a little funny to me
     
  6. capnmac59

    capnmac59 New Member

    Messages:
    38
    State:
    illinois
    Seven state parks will still close next weekend, even though Gov. Rod Blagojevich and the General Assembly have approved money to keep them open, the Blagojevich administration said Friday.
    The governor originally targeted 11 state parks to close Nov. 30. Lawmakers approved $230 million in new spending to prevent those park closings and a variety of other cuts, and Blagojevich approved most of that restored spending Thursday.
    But Blagojevich spokeswoman Katie Ridgway said Friday that only four of those 11 state parks will remain open: Hennepin Canal Parkway State Park in Sheffield, Channahon Parkway State Park in Channahon, Gebhard Woods State Park in Morris and Kickapoo State Park in Oakwood.
    Those parks were spared because they’re in each of the three Department of Natural Resources regions affected by closures, three are connected to trails, and Kickapoo offers several forms of recreation, Ridgway said.
    A spokesman for the union representing state employees at the parks said layoffs should stop and all the parks should be kept open because money clearly was set aside for that reason.
    “The sole purpose of these funds is to prevent the layoffs and closures,” said Anders Lindall of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31.
    But the Blagojevich administration says it’s not that simple.
    Even though $2.1 million was set aside by the legislature to keep all the parks open, poor economic conditions and lack of available money means the other seven must be shuttered, Ridgway said, citing shortfalls in other DNR funds for parks that are forcing the administration to go ahead with closings.
    “It’s just understanding the larger picture of a $2 billion (overall budget) deficit and still needing to find the places where we can make reductions,” Ridgway said.
    Details for how the parks will be closed and workers affected still are being worked out, she said.
    Other parts of state government were grappling with the effects of Blagojevich’s budget action on Thursday.
    Layoffs were rescinded for state child-care workers, but human-services workers will still be let go on Nov. 30. Thirteen state historic sites also will close that day, including the Dana-Thomas House in Springfield.
    Substance abuse treatment centers throughout Illinois celebrated the restoration of $55 million in state funding, but with some caution.
    Sara Moscato Howe, CEO of the Illinois Alcoholism and Drug Dependence Association, said centers are thankful after having to lay off workers and cut services since losing funding in July.
    But it will take time to rehire workers and get the system back up to full speed, Moscato Howe said, and some concern remains about future cuts.
    “It’s a good day for substance abuse treatment in Illinois,” Moscato Howe said. “We’ve still got our work cut out for us.”
    Blagojevich stung his fellow constitutional officers by again cutting tens of millions of dollars of money for their offices. They’ve all used layoffs, furlough days, hiring freezes and other moves so far.
    Ridgway said the governor had to cut those expenses.
    “We needed to focus on what the core services were,” she said.
    Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s office called Blagojevich’s veto of restored money for its operations “petty politics” because the targeted funding is generated through litigation from the office and can only be used there.
    “His explanation for the veto is false,” Madigan chief of staff Ann Spillane said in a written statement.
    Secretary of State Jesse White did not expect the money for his office to be rejected and would need to take more action if further cuts are made, spokesman Dave Druker said.
     
  7. Brentkeele

    Brentkeele New Member

    Messages:
    445
    State:
    Nokomis, Illinois
    Thank you for posting that Mark. I guess the SJR jumped the gun in reporting that the restoration of funds and the what the money was supposed to be used for, is what it would actually be used for. Blago has proven time and time again that he only represents a small number of his actual constituants. He also seems to have a problem, a chip on his shoulder, against the front line state employees. His lack of willingness to discuss any of these moves with any of the legislators or any of the agency heads shows a draconian or dictator type of leadership. I wish him the same type of anguish he causes all of the state employees.

    I have made several trips to the capitol building and will continue to do so. My efforts in these trips are to lobby various legislators on budget issues. Every single one that I have spoken to has made the statement that this year is going to be the worst budget year yet. The governor is talking about an 11 percent cut across the board. This is huge. He will not entertain any idea of a tax increase to lessen the burden on the budget. They have also related to me that they would be willing to vote for a tax increase but they do not trust the governor to use it wisely. In other words, he would take the money from the tax increases and STILL close facilities and reduce state services. I am totally at wit's end, but will not sit on my hands. If I am going to complain, then I better be willing to do my part to effect the change. Just venting, anyway thanks for listening ya'll.
     
  8. Brentkeele

    Brentkeele New Member

    Messages:
    445
    State:
    Nokomis, Illinois
    I attended a rally with my union at the gate to the executive mansion tonight opposing the closure of the multiple historic preservation sites. We were able to secure live coverage from Channel 20 in Springfield as we were trying to get our message out. It is incredibly disheartening to see the people and the lists of people who have put in many years of work who have been signing their paperwork seperating themselves from state employment. Some of these people have hire dates that predate my birth. Others who have not put in nearly that much time and now have to attempt to seek employment elsewhere in an economy that is totally in the crapper!