Gov. Rod Blagojevich's Budget Plan Wins Approval

By: Horace Fulgham
By: Horace Fulgham

Gov. Blagojevice says he wants to redirect money out of bureaucracy and into the classroom for the children.

The plan provides nearly $400 million more for educational spending. Thirty million dollars would be provided for early childhood education, nearly $100 million for state mandated programs like student transportation and special education and $23 million would be used to expand family care eligibility to working parents.

Blagojevich says $13 million of that money would be for Rockford schools alone. The state will now spend $250 more per student in general state aid.

Republican Sen. Dave Syverson says, "We'll have better schools which means we'll have a better workforce".

The plan will also generate funds by a series of business taxes and fees including a casino tax and a rolling tax for out of state truckers passing through Illinois. State Reps. say the trucking fees will add up to a few million dollars for the state.

The Governor says consumers will see no rise in sales or income tax, but some state representatives believe taxed businesses will pass the extra costs on to customers.

Senator Syverson says, "I think people realize business don't pay taxes, people do. It's always built in some how."

State Rep. Jefferson says, "I don't feel that's the case at all. Only thing that might affect consumer is a possible increase in entrance fees.”

Some legislators feel the governor’s tax and fee plan will drive business out of Illinois and on to bordering states. Gov. Blagojavich says that's not the case, and that the plan may even bring business our to the state


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