Cross opposes budget override to save prisons

SPRINGFIELD – House Republican Leader Tom Cross opposes efforts to override Gov. Pat Quinn's plan to close prisons and other state facilities.

The Senate rejected Quinn's $56 million budget cut last week.

In cutting the budget, Quinn proposed closing several facilities including the high-security Tamms prison and the women's lockup at Dwight. The Democratic governor says the money should instead be spent on child-protection services.

Cross said an override vote is "purely symbolic." It wouldn't force Quinn to spend money on the prisons. It would simply restrict him from spending it elsewhere.

Cross said the state has money problems and "we have to recognize that someday."

A spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan said the Chicago Democrat hasn't decided whether to call an override vote.

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