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Lawmakers Push To Keep Prisons Open

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle want to restore funding for Tamms and Dwight prisons.  Governor Pat Quinn slashed the money from the budget, but State Senator Gary Forby says that will hurt the state more than it helps.  

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Governor Quinn slashed funding for Dwight and Tamms prisons from the budget.  State Representative Brandon Phelps says closing Tamms removes the safety valve of the whole prison system.

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State Representative Jason Barickman says Quinn's actions demonstrate he's out of sync when it comes to state priorities

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The lawmakers are teaming up with the AFSCME labor union in a call to restore funding.  AFSCME represents 40-thousand state workers, including those at risk of losing their jobs.  Union officials say they've found over a dozen shanks and other weapons in inmate cells recently.  They say adding the toughest inmates to general population will increase dangers for inmates and workers.  Quinn says prisoners at both Tamms and Dwight will be moved by the end of the year.  He's already offered to sell Tamms to the federal government.

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