SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced the creation of an inter-agency task force to ease the impact that the closure of Pontiac Correctional Center will have on the community, including businesses and local governments. The Task Force will pool all available and necessary state resources to preserve the economic well-being and quality of life for Pontiac and surrounding communities.
“I am creating this Task Force to develop real solutions and find ways to help the Pontiac community during this transition, and give them the help they need so people can support their families and pay the bills during these tough economic times,” said Governor Blagojevich. “By bringing together representatives from the state’s agencies and local leaders, we will be able to look at the issue in detail and utilize a wide array of resources to help the Pontiac community as it goes through this transition.”
Under the new Task Force, Governor Blagojevich brings together the state agencies under his jurisdiction to create a comprehensive resource pool of services that may be used to ensure that the transitional period during the closure is streamlined and to make sure that livelihood of people in the Pontiac community is impacted as minimally as possible during that time.
The Task Force brought together to ready their agency resources and to provide expert opinion and guidance during the transition is comprised of representatives from the following state agencies: Illinois Healthcare and Family Services, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Illinois Department of Human Services, Illinois Community College Board, Illinois State Board of Education, Illinois Department of Public Health, Illinois Finance Authority, Illinois Housing Development Authority, Illinois Central Management Services and the Illinois State Police.
The Task Force will hold a series of meetings co-chaired by Steve Frenkel, Deputy Chief of Staff for Economy and Environment, and Jennifer Ricker, Deputy Chief of Staff for Public Safety. The Task Force will expand to include participation and input from state and local elected officials, as well as the business and civic communities.
The Task Force convened today and within the next two weeks the Task Force will issue an interim report to the Governor of available resources needed to see the community through a smooth transition and to address subsequent issues that may arise from the closure.