Budget Deadline

By: Horace Fulgham
By: Horace Fulgham

The bills make up the blueprint of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's financial plan to eliminate the state's massive budget deficit.

The legislators worked till about one in the morning Friday night and Saturday night is expected to be much of the same. There are several bills on the table that contribute the Govorners plan to pull the state out of debt. The legislature’s overtime could allow the senate to approve the bills before today's scheduled adjournment at midnight.

The governors' plan to fill the budget hole will likely include raising casino and pre-paid cigarette tax, selling state property and increasing such items as liquor license fees. The revenue generated would help pay for the governors 50-billion dollar plan which was approved by lawmakers last week.

Republican Senator Dave Syverson says it's the consumer who will feel the heat after taxed businesses pass the cost on to them. Several bills have found house approval including a bill that would generate about 82-million by imposing a tax on interstate trucking.

Legislation also includes an increase to the minimum wage which would eventually go from $5.15 an hour to $6.50. This allows those workers more money to deposit back into the economy.
Vernese Lambert is a fast food worker. She says she was displaced from a previous well-paying job and working for minimum wage makes it hard to pay the bills. Senator Syverson says legislation should not focus on increasing the minimum wage but should instead concentrate on creating better paying jobs.


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