By The Associated Press
SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Senate has voted to restore money that Gov. Pat Quinn cut from the budget to force the closure of prisons and other state facilities.
The Senate voted 35-16 to reject cuts of $56 million to fund the Tamms high-security prison, the Dwight women's lockup and other sites.
The measure moves to the House. If the House approves it, Quinn wouldn't be forced to spend the money on the facilities. But it would prohibit the Democratic governor from spending the cash on anything else.
Quinn opposed the override. He wants to improve child-protection program funding. His administration has argued that Tamms and some juvenile detention centers are underutilized and that developmentally disabled residents in state institutions would do better in community settings.
Additionally, the Senate has approved a $2 license plate fee to improve crumbling state parks. The plan to cut into a $750 million backlog in park maintenance and repairs now goes to Quinn. He's indicated he approves of the proposal. It was the second go for the Senate. The measure failed in June but received a 39-11 vote in favor on Wednesday.
The money would be used by the Department of Natural Resources. It was suggested as an alternative to charging an entrance fee. A basic annual license plate costs $99.