Tax Group Criticizes Governor's Speech

January 18, 2006

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Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich gave his State of the State address Wednesday.

The governor told lawmakers the state has increased health care and education spending while eliminating a $5 billion budget deficit and holding the line on taxes.

Ralph Martire says Gov. Blagojevich may have eliminated the deficit on paper, but not in reality.

Martire's with a bi-partisan tax and budget watchdog group.

He says the governor diverted more than a billion dollars from pensions for state employees to help pay for education.

And Martire says the state put off another billion and a half in Medicaid payments.

He says those bills are going to be have to be paid sometime.

""There's no way around fixing this deficit problem without broaching that one subject that this governor does not want to go near, and that's a tax increase,"" he says.

As a candidate for governor, Blagojevich pledged not to raise taxes. As he faces re-election, he hasn't renewed that promise.

When asked, the governor says he's focused on governing the state right now, and will leave talk of possible tax increases for the campaign trail.
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