- Associated Press - Friday, June 6, 2014

CHICAGO (AP) - U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin says the Senate Appropriations Committee has approved almost $48 million to help equip and staff Thomson Correctional Center in northwestern Illinois.

The Illinois Democrat said Thursday the bill also includes $15 million to modernize and repair the facility.

Illinois built the prison in 2001, but budget troubles kept it from fully opening. The federal government bought it for $165 million in 2012, and it’s expected to employ about 1,000 people once it’s activated.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons has said Thomson would help reduce overcrowding at high-security federal prisons.

Illinois lawmakers say the prison will be an important job-creator and have a wider economic impact on Lee, Ogle and Whiteside counties.

Durbin says U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos of Illinois helped preserve funding for Thomson.

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