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Blagojevich backs off using loan to buy new state police cars


Springfield, Ill. – llinois Governor Rod Blagojevich's office no longer plans to use a five-year loan to buy 500 new state police cars, because that would be illegal.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan says the $15 million loan could only be used for construction projects involving buildings and land, not cars.

The governor's budget office says there's other money in the current budget that can be used instead to buy the cars; that money was put into the budget for backup in case the loan approach failed.

Blagojevich announced in January he would buy 500 new cars, the first major purchase of state police vehicles in five years, with money raised from the sale of general obligation bonds.

But Madigan's office determined last week that bonds must be reserved for construction projects involving buildings and land.

Madigan says she will put $5 million that Illinois recently won from a lawsuit into the car fund.