Legislators respond to governor's budget proposal
reacts to governor's 2006 budget address
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[FEB. 16, 2006]
SPRINGFIELD -- After listening to Gov.
Rod Blagojevich's fourth annual budget address, state
Bomke, R-Springfield, said he is both interested and concerned by
several of the governor's ideas but will withhold judgment until the
General Assembly further examines the proposal.
Wednesday, the governor announced over $200 million in new spending,
which Bomke explained will be funded through ongoing diversions from
the state retirement systems.
"One of the main concerns I have
with this budget is the continued diversion from the state's pension
systems," Bomke said. "If there was a way to implement his programs
without shortchanging state employees, then I'd be much more
inclined to get on board with the governor's proposals. I'd really
like to see a budget that is fiscally sound, that doesn't rely on
borrowing or raiding the state's pension systems. I know both myself
and my Senate Republican colleagues are open to working with the
governor's administration to develop a proposal that is in the best
interest of the entire state of Illinois."
The governor's proposal includes a $135 million universal
kindergarten proposal, $20 million in grants to riverfront
communities to initiate redevelopment, $1.2 million to hire more
prison guards and a $400 million increase for Illinois schools.
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"I think it's important to acknowledge that the governor did
present some good ideas. However, if the budget is financed through
the pension raids -- as anticipated -- I'm afraid it will be almost
impossible for me to support it," said Bomke. "The public needs to
know that 75 percent of the people who would be affected by these
pension changes are retired teachers, people that dedicated their
lives to educating our youth. I encourage my colleagues on both
sides of the aisle to think long and hard about the plan to fund the
governor's proposed initiatives."
[News release from
Sen. Larry Bomke,