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Hardin Work Camp

  • forby hardin work campBENTON – State Senator Gary Forby (D-Benton) expressed his disappointment that the governor’s news conference in Southern Illinois today wasn’t to announce jobs for Southern Illinois. The Rauner Administration cut jobs in the region by closing the Hardin Work Camp. Bringing quality jobs to Southern Illinois has been Senator Forby’s top priority and one that he believes the governor should share.

    Senator Forby released the following statement on Wednesday:

    “I was hoping the governor was coming to Southern Illinois to tell us he is going to reopen the Hardin County Work Camp and help put Southern Illinois back to work. I guess not. What Southern Illinois needs is more jobs, not more Rauner news conferences. I work for the people of Southern Illinois and my biggest initiative is to bring jobs back to the region. I would think this is something the governor could get on board with.”

  • forby hardincountySPRINGFIELD – State Senator Gary Forby (D-Benton) has been hard at work on an issue important to Southern Illinois: reopening the Hardin County Work Camp. Today, he made progress by passing a measure through the Senate to do just that.

    House Bill 4326 would require the Illinois Department of Corrections to operate the Hardin County Work Camp.

    “I am happy to see this measure gain such great support from my colleagues both in the Senate and the House,” said Forby.

  • Senator Gary Forby (D-Benton) argues to raise funding for the Hardin Work Camp by 1%.


  • forby cogfavoteThe Committee on Government Forecasting and Accountability held a hearing this morning to discuss the economic impact of the closing several state facilities. The panel voted in favor of keeping Hardin County Work Camp and the Southern Illinois Art and Artisans Center open.

    Governor Bruce Rauner has proposed closing the work camp and museum during the state’s budget impasse. However, any facility closing that impacts a large number of state workers must be reviewed by COGFA, which is made up of an equal number of Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate.

    Senator Forby issued the following statement:

    “Cutting Hardin Work Camp is irresponsible. Inmates living here help local governments during natural disasters, save surrounding counties millions of dollars in project costs and inmates donate 7,000 hours per month in community service to neighboring cities. These are the types of facilities that allow inmates to pay their debt to society while also developing skills, so once they are released they don’t come back.

    "Now that the panel has sided with the people, the governor has a great opportunity to show Illinoisans that he is a statesman who works for the people and not special interests. The recommendation to keep the facility open was supported by both Democrats and Republicans, so we hope the governor will be responsible and keep the facility open and keep jobs in Southern Illinois.”