- SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich today signed a new budget that increases state spending by about one-point-four billion dollars.
That's a four-point-eight percent jump.
The 56 (b) billion dollar budget includes more money for schools, health care and other social services.
Critics point out that it also includes hundreds of (m) 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 one-point-one (b) billion dollars.
The budget takes effect July 1.