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Blagojevich Lays Out State Budget

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.
Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.


Springfield, Ill. – Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich says his budget proposal doesn't include any
increase to the state sales or income taxes because that would hurt
the economy.

Blagojevich released details of his $53 billion budget plan at a joint session of the General Assembly this afternoon.

The governor says some people think a tax increase could help solve the budget's problems, but he thinks it would be a mistake.

He says it would hurt the economy, cost Illinois jobs and punish the state's residents.

Blagojevich's budget plan does include a 75-cent-per-back increase in Illinois' cigarette taxes. And it assumes state pension costs can be cut at least 700 million dollars by reducing benefits for future teachers and state employees.

The Democratic governor proposed just $140 million dollars in new money for schools.

Illinois legislative leaders are bemoaning the small increase for elementary and secondary schools.

Senate President Emil Jones, a Chicago Democrat, says $140 million is not enough money. He says he will push a plan to shift the burden of funding schools from local property taxes to income taxes.

To hear the governor's budget speech, as aired by Illinois Public Radio, click here --->