Illinois prison may be opening under federal government

By WEEK Producer

April 10, 2013 Updated Apr 10, 2013 at 10:39 PM CDT

THOMSON, Ill. -- President Obama's fiscal year 2014 budget includes money to finally activate Thomson Prison in northwestern Illinois.

Thomson was built by the state of Illinois, and completed in 2001, but the state never provided funding for its operation.

In October of 2012, the Federal Government announced it was buying Thomson, but plans to put Guantanamo Bay terror suspects there were opposed by some in Congress. That delayed funding for Thomson again.

President Obama later rescinded plans to put detainees at Thomson and gave an executive order buying the prison.

The president's budget calls for $166 million to being activating Thomson and two other prisons.

Full activation of Thomson prison is expected to take two years.

Illinois officials say an operating prison could bring $61 million in local business sales to the area.

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