SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton) has introduced legislation returning $8.4 million from the defunct Wood River Township Hospital fund to taxpayers.

Haine introduced the plan as an amendment to an existing bill—Senate Bill 496—this week, and the plan will be addressed in the Senate Local Government Committee at 10 a.m. today.

Wood River Township Hospital closed in 2000 and after 10 years of retiring debt and paying out pension benefits the fund has approximately $8.4 million left over.

“There have been many different proposals for what to do with these funds, but the fairest, most-practical and overwhelmingly supported solution is to give this money back to taxpayers,” Haine said.

State Representative Daniel Beiser (D-Alton) will sponsor the plan in the House.

“This is commonsense legislation that will ensure that Wood River Township taxpayers are directly refunded money from the hospital district,” Beiser said. “I look forward to working with Sen. Haine and my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to quickly pass this measure.”

The new plan will permanently dissolve the hospital as a legal entity and give the hospital’s board six months to sell any remaining property, transfer medical records, conduct an audit and pay any outstanding debts.

After the hospital is dissolved, the remaining funds will be transferred to the Madison County Treasurer and disbursed to current property taxpayers by the Madison County Clerk based on the 2005 levy year.

“It is a rare occasion when the government can write a check directly to taxpayers. Dan Beiser and I are pleased to do it,” Haine said.

Category: News Releases

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