WBEZ | Chad Hays http://www.wbez.org/tags/chad-hays Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en House lawmakers dispute interests of having crowded prisons http://www.wbez.org/news/house-lawmakers-dispute-interests-having-crowded-prisons-107198 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/illinois prison.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>A controversial measure that would change how the U.S. Census counts Illinois prison inmates is advancing in Springfield.</p><p>The census counts Illinois&rsquo; prison inmates as residents of the town the prison is in, not the town they came from.</p><p>That population can affect a region&rsquo;s eligibility for government money.</p><p>State House members narrowly approved a bill Wednesday saying the state will start keeping track of an inmates&rsquo; last known address for census purposes.The measure passed with the bare minimum of favorable votes, 60-55.</p><p>The bill&rsquo;s passage upset Republican State Rep. Chad Hays from Danville, which has a prison that currently holds about 1,800 inmates, according to the Illinois Department of Corrections.</p><p>&ldquo;I just lost 2,000 residents,&rdquo; Hays said after the vote.</p><p>He sarcastically said he&rsquo;ll start sending expenses to the City of Chicago for projects paid for with government money.</p><p>But State Rep. Monique Davis of Chicago suggested those who have prisons in their districts have a financial interest in keeping their prisons full.</p><p>&ldquo;Let&rsquo;s see how many enhanced penalty bills will pass, let&rsquo;s see how many new bills were put in the criminal code if that population is no longer valuable to certain groups,&rdquo; she said.</p><p>The measure still needs the support of the Senate.</p><p><em>Tony Arnold covers Illinois politics for WBEZ. Follow him @<a href="http://twitter.com/tonyjarnold" target="_blank">tonyjarnold.</a></em></p></p> Thu, 16 May 2013 07:22:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/house-lawmakers-dispute-interests-having-crowded-prisons-107198