Prison Materials in Limbo

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Gov. Rod Blagojevich's administration pulled the plug on two downstate prisons projects to save money, but his staff didn't cancel at least $12 million worth of building materials earmarked for the projects.

Lawmakers from both parties say the spending is wasteful at a time when the state can least afford it, but the governor's office says the cost of all those materials is cheaper than operating the prisons had they opened.

A Blagojevich spokeswoman said there were no exit clauses in contracts for the building materials, so the state had little choice but to accept the goods.