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Quinn signs debt-heavy Illinois budget

By Sean Crawford, Illinois Public Radio


Springfield, Ill. – Illinois Governor Pat Quinn settled for less than he wanted in a new state budget. However he signed the spending plan into law Wednesday night, a move that will ensure thousands of state workers get paid.

More than 5,000 employee paychecks were delayed this week as the state had no spending authority. Now that a budget is in place, they're expected to have checks hand delivered to them at work today.

The governor and lawmakers had battled for months over Quinn's proposed income tax increase, but the new budget won't use higher taxes to fund government.

Instead, heavy borrowing and pushing off payment of bills even longer is the blueprint to carry the state through the next year. Governor Pat Quinn says its progress.

"As long as we're moving forward and going in the right direction and telling people of Illinois their government is on the right track, we don't have the problems we had half a year ago," Quinn said. "I think getting a budget in these trying times is a good step forward"

Quinn will have some tough decisions. He acknowledges hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts will be necessary. He adds he'll continue trying to convince the general assembly to support higher taxes.