THOMSON – U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos spoke with Thomson prison workers affected by the government shutdown Friday as well as community officials concerned with the economic impact on the town.
Workers have been showing up to the federal maximum security prison despite missing two paychecks, and Bustos met with several of them at Village Hall in the morning.
“The message was clear – their paychecks shouldn’t be held hostage because of political negotiations in Washington,” Bustos said. “But the shutdown isn’t just impacting workers – local businesses are also feeling the impact of workers’ missed paychecks, from the local plumber to Casey’s General Store.”
Bustos paid for 40 pizzas to go to the workers before leaving town, and the visit was prior to an agreement announced in the afternoon to end the shutdown for 3 weeks while negotiations continue.
“While I’m pleased by the short-term agreement today, we need a long-term solution to end shutdown hostage taking,” she said “Illinoisans deserve a more functional government, and I’m looking forward to working on legislation to clean up corruption in Washington, invest in our infrastructure and bring down the cost of health care.”
In October, the prison had hired 300 employees with the goal of hiring another 300 this year.
The facility is slated to be fully activated by the end of the year and house around 1,500 inmates. About 170 minimum-security inmates are currently on site.
The prison is meant to alleviate overcrowding in the federal prison system and promote economic growth in the region.
The state finished building the former Thomson Correctional Center in 2001, but it sat empty for more than a decade because of state money troubles.
In 2012, the Bureau of Prisons bought the facility for $165 million and construction upgrades started in 2015.
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Region: Northern,News,City: Sterling,Region: Sauk Valley
via SaukValley.com http://bit.ly/102UFVC
January 25, 2019 at 08:33PM