It's Official: JDC to Close by October

Published 01/20 2012 08:06AM

Updated 01/20 2012 09:25AM

    Families are stunned at the governor's decision to close a state institution. Governor Pat Quinn made the official announcement this afternoon. The Jacksonville Developmental Center will close in October.
    WCIA-3 News talked to one man who was mad about the possibility just a few nights ago. Now that it's done, he doesn't plan to give up. In fact, a lot of families plan to fight this.
    Quinn's plan is to transition the 185 patients into community-based settings by the fall. That's about 20-residents a month. The governor's office says the institution will work with families and caregivers to make it happen, but it's not much comfort for the families.
    They worry their family member's disabilities are too severe for a community setting. They also worry there aren't enough facilities to house all those in need. Quinn's office says one main reason JDC was chosen is that the facility is its age. It still uses a coal boiler for heat and costs about $1.2 million annually to purchase coal.
    But, the governor says it's not a move to save money, but rather more of a move to close outdated institutions and push for community-based care. When JDC closes, it's estimated to save the state about $11 million a year.
    In the meantime, the state is trying to get its budget in order when it comes to pensions. House Speaker, Mike Madigan, just announced he's forming a committee to examine the state's pension system.
    The bipartisan group will look for fixes in the state's system. It will also take a closer look at investments each retirement system makes.

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