Quinn Slashes 2,600 State Jobs

Thousands of state workers will be getting pink slips as Gov. Pat Quinn struggles to close a multi-billion-dollar budget gap.

His office announced Tuesday that 2,600 workers statewide will be laid off.

Of those, 870 will be from the Department of Human Services and 105 will be from the Department of Juvenile Justice. Remaining workers in both departments will have to take 12 unpaid furlough days as he tries to cut the state budget by an additional $1 billion.

The Department of Corrections is losing 1,000 jobs, though the governor didn't say how that will affect prisons around the state.

There will also be $185 million in cuts to state operations, and the governor said he would veto a second budget bill sent to him by the General Assembly.

Because of regulations with unions, it'll likely be around Aug. 15 before any state employee is actually out of a job. 

The action comes as a stalemate continues between Quinn and legislative leaders as to how to clean up the state's budget, which is estimated to be $9.2 billion in the hole.

The Chicago Democrat warned that everyone will share in the "sacrifice," calling furloughs a "good idea" for lawmakers and their legislative staffs, having said previously that higher taxes are the only fair way to close a deficit.

Illinois began the new budget year on July 1 without a spending plan in place.

Unable to agree with legislative leaders on how to clean up the state's budget mess, the governor has been meeting with the rank-and-file, hoping their support can break the deadlock that has left the government without a budget.


The Daily Herald has an overview of Quinn's billion-dollar budget cuts

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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