Panel votes to keep Hardin County Work Camp and museums open

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.”

Senator Gary Forby


59th Senate District

Years served:
2001-2003 (House); 2003 - 2017 (Senate)

Committee assignments: Energy and Public Utilities; Labor (Chairperson); Insurance; Licensed Activities and Pensions; Committee of the Whole. (99th G.A.)

Biography: Born January 4, 1945, in Anna, Illinois. Full-time state legislator; former farmer and businessman; past chairman, Franklin County Board; former member, Franklin - Williamson Human Services Board; current member, Southern Illinois Workforce Man-Tra-Con Board, Operating Engineers and Laborers' International unions.