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Blago Attacks Madigan at Policy Announcement

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For the second time this week, Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich left state budget talks in Springfield to make a policy announcement in Chicago. And again, it appears his announcement was overshadowed by questions about Illinois’ budget deadlock. Chicago Public Radio’s Ben Calhoun reports.

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Blagojevich announced new state rules, designed to prevent insurance companies from raising premium rates on customers who get sick.

BLAGOJEVICH: It’s wrong and we intend to stop it.

But the focus of the governor’s appearance quickly shifted towards the state’s troubled budget talks. Blagojevich again targeted House Speaker Michael Madigan—repeatedly calling Madigan, the State Democratic Party Chair, a Republican.

BLAGOJEVICH: All we gotta do is get our Democratic Party chairman to stop working with right-wing Republicans.

And when asked whether he should apologize for animosity between him and lawmakers, which has gummed up budget talks, the governor balked.

BLAGOJEVICH: What are you thinking?

The current budget was extended to the end of July. The governor did not say what he’ll do if there isn’t a budget agreement by then. I’m Ben Calhoun, Chicago Public Radio

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