The town hall event is to show support for the 117 prison employees
who are facing an imminent layoff as of Sept. 30. The layoffs are
part of a series of draconian budget cuts by Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn
to try to relieve billions of dollars in debt and obligations that
the state currently cannot repay.
"One of the goals approved in
our three-year plan (by the board of directors) is to take a
leadership role on local issues, and this is a huge issue in our
community," Hake said.
The meeting will be at the Knights of Columbus at 217 Limit St.
in Lincoln and will begin at 6:30 p.m.
Hake will make opening remarks, which will then be followed by
brief remarks regarding the layoffs from approximately a dozen local
and statewide officials. Hake said on Tuesday that the chamber is
still waiting to hear back from several officials as to their
availability. She did say that among those who have confirmed their
participation are Mike Geriets, deputy police chief; Joel Smiley,
economic development director; Terry Carlton, Logan County Board
chairman; Michael McIntosh, Logan County state's attorney; and Keith
Snyder, Lincoln mayor; as well as others.
After remarks from the speakers, Hake says questions submitted by
those in attendance and submitted on cards will be asked of specific
officials or the group at large, depending on whom the questioner
was directing their inquiry to.
In the chamber's Monday morning memo, Hake disseminated a
personal letter to Gov. Pat Quinn for chamber members to use to ask
the governor to stop the layoffs. One section in that letter
addressed to Quinn stated: "The layoffs you are planning to make
will further undermine our local economy and fray the social fabric.
In addition, they will deprive our community of important services
on which citizens rely." In another paragraph, the letter states,
"Our community needs more jobs, not less. I would hope that at such
a critical time, we could look to our governor for assistance and
support, not actions that would further weaken our economic
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Also attached to the memo were the phone numbers and addresses of
statewide officials (supplied below) that Hake
asked chamber members to contact in support of the prison employees.
The memo included a fact sheet from the American Federation of
State, County and Municipal Employees stating the union's
endorsement of an increase in the state income tax to clean up the
debt-ridden state's balances and to save jobs throughout the state.
Hake wanted it understood that the chamber doesn't consider this
a union issue. "This is a jobs issue," she said. "It is a
Lincoln-Logan County issue. These layoffs will have an adverse
effect on not only our community, but the entire state as well."
Hake hopes that, with the potential loss of $6 million to $7
million in local wages, citizens will see this issue is "extremely"
important to the community and will attend the meeting on Wednesday
Contact information for state officials:
Rep. Rich Brauer,
1128 E. Stratton Office Building, Springfield, IL 62706
Sen. Bill Brady,
2203 Eastland Drive, Suite 3 Bloomington, IL 61704
Rep. Raymond Poe,
E-1 Stratton Office Building, Springfield, IL 62706
Gov. Pat Quinn,
Office of the Governor, 207 State House, Springfield, IL 62706
Sen. Larry Bomke,
307 Capitol Building, Springfield, IL 62706
Rep. Bill Mitchell, 240 W. Stratton
Office Building, Springfield, IL 62706