State Budget Update

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Today (Thursday) marks Illinois' 23rd day without a state budget.

It's been more than a week since Governor Rod Blagojevich (blah-GOY'-uh-vich) promised to slash $500 million out of the budget. But he still hasn't taken action.

That leaves the budget in limbo. Legislators have approved it, but it doesn't become official without the governor's signature.

The lack of a budget is delaying state checks to schools, disabled workers, Medicaid providers and more.

House Republican leader Tom Cross claims Blagojevich hasn't taken action because he can't find places to cut without hurting important services.

And a spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan says the Blagojevich administration lacks the expertise to trim the budget.

Blagojevich spokeswoman Abby Ottenhoff denies the administration is having trouble identifying waste. She says the delay is because the cuts need to be reviewed carefully.

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