State employees protest governor's visit

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Kendall Downing

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ill. — Hundreds of local jobs are on the line as state prisons, youth centers, and transitional centers will be moth-balled by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn in a matter of months.

The governor visited the area Monday to talk to farmers about the drought and its impact on the corn crop.

But there were quite a few others who wanted to get a word in with the governor, wondering why their jobs could disappear.

"He's gone against the COGFA committee. He's gone against the House. He's going against the Senate," said Tamms employee Randy Clark. "To me, that's more like a tyrant than a governor."

Clark is one of many who won't go down without a fight.

"Right now, people are just decimated. People are upset," said Clark.

That's why he and a handful of others tried to send their message to Governor Pat Quinn as he toured a local farm.

But they waited and the governor never passed by. A while later, the media event started in a corn field a couple of miles away.

"If we don't close those facilities, we won't have enough money to pay our bills," Quinn said.

Talk quickly turned from burned-up crops to politics.

And if there was any hope left for those facilities, Monday afternoon it burned up, too. The governor affirmed they would all be closing by the end of August.

"Obviously, there are some who disagree with it and I honor them, and I respect them, but the decision has been made and the institutions will be closed," Quinn said.

A number of southern Illinois lawmakers told Local 6 the governor's office did not notify them that he would be making an appearance in the area Monday.

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