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Blagojevich Brings Budget Battle to Metro East

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(KWMU staff)
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Blagojevich

By Kevin Lavery, KWMU

St. Louis – Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich says his budget proposal would increase spending for education and health care.

Speaking Monday at a Belleville child care center, Blagojevich said his plan would add $16 million to schools in the Metro East, and impose a 2.25 percent cut on every state agency except education and health care.

Blagojevich and the Illinois House have been gridlocked over the budget in recent weeks.

The governor denied assertions that the holdup springs from a personality clash between himself and House Speaker Mike Madigan.

"Some of the tension that you hear has to do with misplaced priorities and values, and it's not about personalities or egos," Blagojevich said. "I just disagree with some of the other leaders in Springfield who think that we should allow 150,000 men, women and children who have health care in Illinois to lose it."

The budget must pass the House by a three-fifths majority.

Lawmakers have until June 30 to avoid a government shutdown.

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