Quinn paints bleak picture for Tinley Park Mental Health Center
By STEVE METSCH email@example.com November 7, 2011 9:56PM
Updated: January 23, 2012 4:07AM
Gov. Pat Quinn made it sound Monday like the closing of the Tinley Park Mental Health Center is imminent.
Speaking with reporters after a news conference at the University at Chicago Pavilion, Quinn was asked if he planned to stick with his proposal to close the mental health center in order to save money in the state budget.
“Sometimes it’s tough closing facilities, but it’s absolutely necessary if we want to have enough money in the budget to pay the bills,” Quinn said.
“I have to make those tough decisions and I’m prepared to do so,” he said.
Tinley Park is one of seven state facilities Quinn has proposed closing to save $55 million to help close an estimated $313 million state budget shortfall. The center, which has 184 employees and 35 patients, could close by Nov. 30 if the Legislature approves Quinn’s plan.
Last week, dozens of supporters spoke out on behalf of keeping the Tinley Park center open during a four-hour public hearing in Orland Hills before a bipartisan state commission.
Supporters expressed concern about where the patients would go for treatment if Tinley Park’s center is closed. The commission is expected to vote Thursday on its recommendation to the governor. Four previous votes were to keep centers open elsewhere in the state.
“We’ve had hearings now on everything and there will be some recommendations from the legislative committee that’s advisory, but the bottom line is we have to save money,” Quinn said.