State Budget Update

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Governor Rod Blagojevich plans to cut $500 million out of the state budget that lawmakers have approved and instead use the money to expand health care coverage for the uninsured.

Blagojevich said Tuesday there's $200 million in "pork" projects in the spending plan the Legislature sent him last week after a summer-long overtime session.

He plans to use his veto powers to cut $500 million but didn't say what else he would cut besides the pet projects. He did not take questions from reporters after making the comments outside his Springfield office.

Blagojevich also said he will use his executive power to give 500,000 more Illinois residents health insurance. The governor wants to create universal health insurance but the General Assembly rejected the $8 billion in new business taxes he wanted to impose to pay for it.


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