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Hynes says Illinois' budget outlook is bleak

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Comptroller Dan Hynes

By AP/IL Public Radio/KWMU

Springfield, Ill. – The man who writes the checks for the state of Illinois says the state will bring in more money in coming years, but the outlook is bleak because of outstanding debts.

Democrat Dan Hynes said Monday that paying into the state's pension funds and for health care for the poor will eat up virtually all the new money Illinois will take in over the next three years -- about $1 billion more per year.

A spokeswoman for Governor Rod Blagojevich, Becky Carroll, says the governor will continue to cut costs and find new revenue without raising taxes.

Blagojevich's Republican challenger in the November election, Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka, says she'll cut waste from Medicaid and other programs to cut billions of dollars from the budget.

Hynes says the revenue outlook will make it even more difficult to pay bills on time or put more money into schools and other programs. He stopped short of calling for a tax hike, but he says leaders need to look at all possible ways of bringing in new money to the state.

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