Wed July 1, 2009
Illinois Governor Vetoes Budget
Springfield, IL – On the date that Illinois' new budget is supposed to take effect each year, Governor Pat Quinn instead vetoed the only spending plan legislators have sent him.
Quinn called the budget "objectionable." The Governor said he can't - and won't - sign a budget that cuts human services by half.
"I think it's important to deal with this first," said Quinn. "This is the area that is most, I think, on the public's mind, that deals with human beings. Many of whom are frail, or young, or vulnerable."
Quinn said the only way to fund those needs, and to balance the budget, is to increase the state income tax.
House Speaker Michael Madigan views things differently.
"I find it regrettable that the governor exercised a veto, on I believe, it's Senate bill 1197. And I find regret with some of his remarks," said Madigan. "The governor complains that the budget was not balanced. What he really means by that is that he wants more money to spend."
Both the House and the Senate will return to the capitol in two weeks.
The Impact on State Workers
State employees in Illinois being told to keep working even though the state lacks a budget to pay them.
On the eve of the new fiscal year, Governor Quinn sent all state employees an e-mail urging them to forge ahead and do their jobs despite the uncertainty over funding.
"I think it's important our workers stay on the job, do their jobs," said Quinn. "They will get their paychecks. We will make sure we square up with our hardworking state employees."
It's still several days before the first payday of the new fiscal year.
Quinn also said he expects employee benefits such as health insurance to remain in place.
Even if a budget is eventually approved, state government workers have other concerns. Quinn is proposing layoffs and furlough days in order to cut expenses.
Thanks to Illinois Public Radio