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Blagojevich: State Budget 'Out of Whack'

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Illinois’ governor says the state budget passed by lawmakers over the weekend is “out of whack.” The budget is $2 billion in the red. Governor Rod Blagojevich is placing blame for the gap on the Illinois House, which, unlike the Senate, did not approve new revenue schemes to cover the deficit.

BLAGOJEVICH: I think it’s pretty clear and unambiguous. The Constitution in Illinois clearly states that the legislature shall pass a balanced budget. It’s not questionable, it’s pretty much mandatory.

But House Speaker Mike Madigan says the legislature merely gives the governor spending authority. So if Blagojevich finds there’s a problem, it’s up to him to cut the budget.

MADIGAN: If he feels that the numbers contained in those bills are too high, he can exercise his authority under the reduction veto and bring them down.

Blagojevich says he wants to meet with legislative leaders later this week to talk about passing a balanced budget and a massive public works program that he says will stimulate the state economy. Blagojevich says he wants everything wrapped up by the end of June.

Related: Gov. Blagojevich’s Press Conference on New Budget

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