State Treasurer Dan Rutherford campaigned in Galesburg Friday saying, if elected, he’d put in place a long-term strategic plan for state prisons and other properties.
That answers Incumbent Governor Pat Quinn’s decision to close a number of state prisons — something Rutherford calls abrupt.
Rutherford told a crowd that’s not to say he doesn’t want the ability to close state facilities, he just wants to be able to figure out alternatives first.
“Are these state facilities being utilized in the best way possible for the taxpayers of Illinois? And if they’re not, how do they get redeployed into a better usage?” says Rutherford.
Rutherford says an example is Sheridan Correctional Center, which now has become a drug rehab facility after two-and-a-half years of being idle.
“People still had to mow the yard, still had to flush the toilet, still had to make sure the roof wasn’t leaking, and it cost the taxpayers to maintain that. People were not at work and the asset wasn’t being utilized,” says Rutherford.
Rutherford also told a crowd he still believes the pension reform Governor Pat Quinn signed into law will be deemed unconstitutional, and that he’s not in favor of raising the minimum wage, but he says he wants to leave open the option, and that he feels Illinoisans should be able to make as much money as possible at their jobs.