Murphysboro…A bill to transfer ownership of the Hardin County Work Camp from the State of Illinois to Hardin County passed unanimously through both chambers of the legislature on the final day of Veto Session, according to State Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro).
Bryant, a chief co-sponsor of HB 3274 says the legislation’s passage was the result of a lot of hard work and a regional, bipartisan effort to educate legislative leaders on the importance of saving the facility.
“Although the Hardin County work camp is not in the 115th district, the facility is in Southern Illinois, and it is sitting empty, just rotting away when it doesn’t have to be,” Bryant said. “This legislation allows Hardin County to buy the facility for $1 from the State of Illinois. With the Governor’s signature, the property can then be used for public purposes, including the creation of a detention center. The local law enforcement officials have done a great job bringing this to legislators’ attention and worked very hard to get this measure moved during the Veto Session.”
Bryant says this is only a first step toward utilizing the property to its full potential.
Earlier this year, the Hardin County Sheriff’s Department announced their intentions to reopen the Work Camp. Plans include opening a detention facility with the potential to house upwards of 100 inmates and create dozens of new good-paying jobs.
House Bill 3274 previously passed the Senate and House unanimously during the November 2018 Veto Session.