Budget Update

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Governor Rod Blagojevich has approved most of a new state budget, 23 days after the old budget expired, but he vetoed $463 million in spending.

In a release, Blagojevich says he is "removing almost $500 million in special pet projects and other spending that we simply can't afford."

Those cuts go back to the General Assembly for lawmakers to consider, but Senate President Emil (EE' mil) Jones has promised to block any effort to overturn the vetoes.

The rest of the budget becomes law, ending months of gridlock that had delayed some state checks and threatened to hamper government services if it continued.

The Democratic governor renewed his promise to add government health programs that legislators had refused to support.

He plans about $500 million in new or expanded services despite questions about whether he has the money or the legal authority.

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