Arbitrator: Illinois Governor may Close Prisons


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- An independent arbitrator has ruled that Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has taken the necessary steps and may proceed with closing seven correctional facilities -- including the high-security prison at Tamms.


The union representing correctional workers released arbitrator Steven Bierig's decision Monday. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees planned to ask a judge in Alexander County to keep in place an order prohibiting the closures.


Bierig ruled in August that the Quinn administration did not properly negotiate with AFSCME the impact of the closures. The two sides have been unable to reach agreement and Bierig's latest ruling declares that the government has met its burden.


He also decided closures would not present a "clear and present danger" but AFSCME believes he used the wrong standard.

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