There’s still hope for people concerned about the seven state facilities the governor wants to close. Illinois House Minority Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego) says he and other legislative leaders will work with him on shifting existing funds around in the budget to find the approximately $230 million needed to keep open the prisons, mental health centers, and developmental centers.
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Cross says those seven facilities have one thing in common. “To be blunt with this, I think (the governor’s) goal was to generate support for increased spending and/or his restructuring plan, and I think he thinks he needs to aim at Republicans. They were mainly Republican districts.” Cross says the governor also suggested he would approve tax incentives aimed at keeping the parent company of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange in the state – in exchange for more borrowing. Cross says no.