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|Governor: State Budget is in "Crisis"
|POSTED: 3:45pm 3/18/09 Gov. Pat Quinn says the state is "facing its greatest crisis in modern times," and asked for "shared sacrifice" to foster its recovery.
The governor proposed a budget Wednesday, as heard live on WGIL, that cuts spending and raises and changes taxes in an effort to deal with a projected $11.5 billion deficit and fund a capital construction program.
The bottom line on the budget, all funds, is $56 billion.
A key provision is income tax, with the rate going up from 3 percent to 4 1/2 percent, and the personal exemption rising from $2,000 to $6,000, which means an income tax cut for a family of four with income less than $60,000.
The governor promises spending cuts: $1.3 billion from employee furloughs, reductions in grant programs and targeted cost reductions at state agencies. He also appointed a Taxpayer Action Board to discover other areas to cut.
Education at all levels -- primary, secondary, community college and state university -- will get small increases in funding. Health care programs for children and veterans, establish controversially by previous Gov. Rod Blagojevich, will stay in place. An expansion of the veterans' home in LaSalle is in the budget.
Cigarette taxes will rise, and vehicle registration fees will go up to fund a building program worth $26 billion, about half for roads and transit, and the other half for schools and other public facilities.
The governor did not promise to re-open state historic sites that were closed last year. The Carl Sandburg Birthplace in Galesburg, and the Bishop Hill State Historic Site in Henry County, remain closed.
(WGIL and Illinois Radio Network reports)
|03 18 09 by Newsroom
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