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Illinois Budget Plan Could Harm Critical Services, Critics Say

By AP/KWMU

Springfield, Ill – A plan to help balance the Illinois budget by dipping into special government funds could threaten important services.

State organizations say taking the money could affect criminal background checks, firefighter training, discipline for bad doctors and more.

Groups including the State Medical Society and Association of Chiefs of Police say the money should stay put. That's because most of the money comes from special taxes and fees that were created to provide specific services.

But Governor Rod Blagojevich says he would only take surplus money that will have no impact on services.

He calls the move a creative way to raise nearly $500 million as the state struggles with a $2.3 billion budget hole.

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