McCann sponsors legislation protecting prison nursing jobs

By Gary Scott on March 31, 2017 at 8:22am

A West Central Illinois State Senator is sponsoring legislation that would protect nurses working at prisons and correctional facilities throughout Illinois.

According to a press release yesterday, Senate Bill 19, sponsored by Senator Sam McCann, would prevent corrections nurses from losing their jobs due to private outsourcing.

The Illinois Department of Corrections recently distributed notices to 124 correctional center nurses, indicating that they would be laid off by June 15 and replaced by nurses whom are employed by a private company. That private company, according to the press release, would be Wexford Health Sources, Inc., a for-profit company based out of Pittsburgh that currently has a 10-year contract worth $1.36 billion dollars.

In a statement, McCann says about the nurses who may lose their job, “these are extremely hardworking professionals who operate in dangerous environments to heal individuals that many other people have given up on…They deserve our respect, instead of being made into victims of some half-baked outsourcing scheme.”

Senate Bill 19 would stop the Illinois Department of Corrections from bidding contracts that could reduce the number of employees working in medical and/or mental health services as of January 1st, 2016.

McCann also says in the statement, “There is also no reason we should be sending taxpayer money out of state when we can put it in the pockets of hardworking Illinois residents who live, work, and pay taxes in the Land of Lincoln.”

WLDS-WEAI reached out to McCann yesterday but he was unavailable. We hope to speak with Senator McCann in the near future.

After passing with a bipartisan majority, Senate Bill 19 now goes to the Illinois House for consideration.