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Madigan Criticizes Blagojevich's Budget Ways

Ill. House Speaker Michael Madigan (State of Illinois photo)
Ill. House Speaker Michael Madigan (State of Illinois photo)


Carbondale, Ill. – Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan says the governor's budget proposals depend too heavily on borrowing money.

The Chicago Democrat says the Governor Rod Blagojevich, also a Democrat, wants to borrow his way out of financial problems.

Madigan spoke in Carbondale Monday at Southern Illinois University.

The governor's office is defending its budget plans. A spokeswoman says Blagojevich has reduced the state's reliance on general obligation bonds for its capital budget and has offered alternatives for saving money.

Those alternatives include the elimination of the State Board of Education and the closing of the Vandalia prison.

Madigan said he has "serious concerns" about the Board of Education proposal but did not explain exact problems with the idea. Blagojevich wants to create a new education department under the governor's control and essentially gut the current State Board of Education.

The governor has also proposed closing the Vandalia prison in southern Illinois to help cut costs, but Madigan says he does not see a need to shut down the prison.