Gov. OKs Budget- More for Schools, Health, Pork

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed a new budget that increases state spending by about $1.4.

That's a 4.8 percent jump.

The $56 billion budget includes more money for schools, health care and other social services.

Critics point out that it also includes hundreds of millions of dollars in lump sums that can be doled out for lawmakers' pet projects.

The Democratic governor negotiated the budget with Democratic lawmakers. The Republican minority was excluded.

A key part of the budget deal was cutting annual payments to state pension systems by about $1.1 billion.

The budget takes effect July 1.

That's a four-point-eight percent jump.

The $56 billion budget includes more money for schools, health care and other social services.

Critics point out that it also includes hundreds of millions of dollars in lump sums that can be doled out for lawmakers' pet projects.

The Democratic governor negotiated the budget with Democratic lawmakers. The Republican minority was excluded.

A key part of the budget deal was cutting annual payments to state pension systems by about $1.1 billion.


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