"This debate is really about whether we're willing to make fundamental changes in the way government works." Those are the words from Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich as he stopped in three Illinois communities today to discuss the impasse of the state budget.
Governor Blagojevich told a classroom at Circles of Learning this lesson. He said, "You can never get a hit a home run if you're afraid of striking out."
The lesson Governor Blagojevich taught at Circles of Learning applies to his own leadership of the state. Blagojevich believes the budget that passed in the Illinois Senate a week ago, is a way to balance the budget.
The Governor says, “We do it without raising income tax, sales tax, or risking opportunities to children."
Blagojevich's budget supported by Senate Democrats increases funding by $34-million to Rock River Valley area schools. 8,000 at risk children would also be able to attend a pre-school like circles of learning. Right now there are 2 versions of the budget circulating around Springfield. Republican lawmakers’ budget ideas don't increase costs.
Republican Senator Dave Syverson says, “Blagojevich is focusing on new spending, but if you can't pay for the current bills how can you pay for new programs."
But speaking in front of the little ones Blagojevich says he's looking out for their future. He made a point to make sure that legislatures know school funding and health care are two areas he will not negotiate.
Blagojevich's budget also reduces the size of state government, closes unneeded state facilities, and closes unfair corporate tax loopholes.