CHICAGO — 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.