Government Shutdown?

By: Tina Stein
By: Tina Stein

Another day goes by, and still no budget agreement in Springfield. Sessions in both the State Senate and the State House lasted only five minutes before being adjourned.

However, Senate leaders met with the Governor again today and Senator Dave Syverson says he thinks that meeting will lead to a state budget proposal by Friday, but he says it will not include a capitol plan and that would put road projects like 173 and North Main in jeopardy

However, there is still a lot of uncertainty brewing amongst state workers and school leaders without a state budget in place.

Virginia Poust just moved here from California. Like any new resident, she needs a new license plate and drivers license. So with the state budget still up in the air, she knew to get those errands done sooner than later.

"I still have to take my drivers test when I get the original documents out of my safety deposit box so I'll be sure to do it right away," she says.

The General Assembly's 30-day extension to approve a budget is now expired. And if they don't make a decision by August eighth, paychecks for state workers and school aid may be put on hold.

"If we are told there is no money and nothing happens. We'd have to reevaluate the situation," says David Druker, Press Secretary for the Secretary of State's office.

While the Secretary of State's office is open now. They may be forced to shut down temporarily. Senator Dave Syverson says state parks like Rock Cut could close, and the Illinois State Police may run into trouble as well.

"It's very frustrating because you want your tax dollars protected and they can't seem to get their act together," Poust says.

Regardless on what happens to the budget, our safety remains a priority. Programs like the Department of Child and Family Services and the Illinois Prison System will remain up and running. And since our local police and firemen are paid by the city, they won't be effected either.

Governor Rod Blagojevich says he's not in a hurry to pass a budget, even if it takes another year. Instead, he says he'd rather pass a temporary budget in order to keep programs running. But lawmakers are ignoring that idea. No matter what happens with the budget, working state employees will be paid retroactively.

The Governor wants the Legislature to pass a one-point-two billion dollar health care plan, but very few lawmakers agree. Syverson says he doubts a government shut down will occur. And if it does, he doesn't think it would last for more than a day or two.


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