Advocates worry today’s hearing regarding the closures of Illinois mental health facilities will shut out the people most affected. The bipartisan, bicameral Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability will take testimony regarding the Jacksonville Developmental Center and Tinley Park Mental Health Center, two facilities slated for closure under the governor’s plan to transition to community care settings.

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Anders Lindall, spokesman for the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees Council 31, says the hearing’s Springfield location is inadequate.

“We’ve got a hearing room and they’ve set aside two hours to deal with two different facilities,” he says. “I think there’s a concern that the Department of Human Services will be the only voice that’s heard.” 

Lindall says past facility closure hearings have gone past six hours, held before as many as two thousand people in gyms and civic centers. The governor’s original plan to close more than half-a-dozen facilities, introduced last year, was scrapped.

(copyright WBGZ/