Advocates for the disabled allege that substandard care at the Howe Developmental Center has contributed to more than two dozen deaths since 2005. The federal government has revoked its certification, and a state legislative committee also approved closing it.
"It is with the utmost consideration for the well-being of the residents and staff at Howe Developmental Center that I make this decision," Quinn said in a news release. "The State will work diligently to ensure a smooth transition for current Howe residents to appropriate settings."
Families of some of Howe's more than 250 residents wanted the Tinley Park facility to stay open. And a union representing public health care workers calls Quinn's announcement a "crushing blow" to Howe residents, their families and staff.
The remaining residents at the facility will be removed by April 2010.