by Diane Benjamin
Conveniently, now that the Feds own an empty prison, Sen. Barbara Boxer is lamenting the lack of space in current Federal prisons to house the Gitmo detainees. Even though there is currently a law against bringing the prisoners here, a second Obama administration will surely turn Illinois into Gitmo north.
That isn’t the purpose of this post though. I wanted to know how much of the $165 million paid by the Department of Justice to Illinois would be available for past due bills after paying off the bonds.
First, I sent a Freedom of Information Act Request to the Comptrollers Office. Since they track debt, I thought they would know. They don’t. They referred me to the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget. I can’t say they really know either, but they gave me a guess:
Re: Freedom of Information Act Request
The Governor’s Office of Management and Budget (“GOMB”) received your correspondence requesting certain documents pursuant to the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”). This request specifically stated:
I was referred to you by the Comptroller’s Office for the following information under the Freedom of Information Act:
How much are the outstanding bonds (or any other debt that needs payed off) on Thompson Prison?
Are other cost involved in the sale to the Department of Justice? If so, please itemize.
GOMB does not have any documents in its possession that are responsive to your FOIA request. However, GOMB estimates that the current amount outstanding is $53.9 million. This figure an estimate based on the best currently available information.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions.
No wonder Illinois is drowning in debt. Nobody knows accounting 101. At least it appears we don’t owe more than we got paid. That doesn’t mean we made a profit. Several figures on how much it cost to build and maintain have been floated – most common is $170 million.
Of course, $111.1 million hardly makes a dent in the past due bills. The good news is it does cover the mismanagement of the All Kids healthcare program though – if your heart can take it, read how your money is thrown away: http://watchdog.org/59169/il-audit-lawmaker-say-improvements-needed-to-all-kids-program/
How many more prisons can we sell? How about a nice capital building – cheap. I assume it’s paid off, but finding out for sure is probably impossible.
In less than 3 weeks we can change Illinois and put some grownups in charge. It’s time to end the Madigan reign of terror enriching only himself. Republicans need 6 seats in the House and 6 in the Senate. What are you willing to do to make that happen?
The Illinois GOP is doing very little to help, probably scared of actually having to make decisions instead of sitting back and blaming the Democrats. The Illinois TEA Party is doing something! We have Let’s Mobilize efforts all over the state – leave a comment with your location. I will put you in contact with the people in your area. Unless you are moving out of the state – it’s time to save Illinois.