SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP)
-- Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn's administration has asked a judge in Cook County to
allow the state to proceed with prison closures after an arbitrator ruled that
officials had followed the necessary rules.
Quinn spokesman Abdon Pallasch says the
ruling by arbitrator Steven Bierig is "good news for
taxpayers" who want the state to eventually save $84 million a year after
Bierig's weekend ruling was released Monday.
He ruled that Quinn's office had negotiated seriously with the workers' union
and could move forward with closures even though there was no agreement.
The American Federation of State, County and
Municipal Employees disagrees with Bierig's ruling on workers' health and
safety risks. The union has asked a southern Illinois judge not to lift a shutdown
prohibition he issued earlier.