With Blagojevich Gone, Illinois Officials Still Face Heavy Load

Illinois lawmakers have finished one big task by removing Rod Blagojevich from the governor's office, but they still face a heavy burden.

The state has a $3 billion hole in this year's budget and a similar deficit next year. Hospitals and pharmacies that care for the poor aren't being paid on time. Unemployment is rising.

That's to say nothing of the state's damaged reputation.

On top of that, new governor Patrick Quinn will need some time to get up and running.

Lawmakers and state financial officers planned to meet with Quinn Thursday night to get started.

House Republican Leader Tom Cross says he thinks Quinn is capable of handling the steep learning curve he faces.

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