Latest from Springfield
Thursday, Aug 23, 2007
* 11:39 am - The governor has finally filed his veto message on the budget. The line item and reduction veto message is 79 pages long and not posted online yet. Stay tuned.
* 11:54 am - LIS has updated the bill status to reflect the vetoes, but the veto message is not yet available.
* 11:59 am - Press release from the guv’s office. Without seeing the message itself, it looks like he didn’t touch the Senate Democrats’ pork…
In the budget the Governor signed today, he cut a total of $463 million in spending:
$15.8 million reduced from constitutional office budgets for personnel and other grants;
$141.3 million reduced from legislative add-ons; and
$306 million reduced in other agency spending.
Many of the legislative add-ons that were eliminated had little to do with the core mission of state government, such as funding for:
o outdoor volleyball court improvements
o an international dance exhibition
o a foreign delegation for a sister city program
o a drill team
o an elevator for event catering at a private cultural center
o parking lot and gymnasium improvements for private schools
o beautification project for a national railroad company
o planning funds for an Arboretum
Last week Gov. Blagojevich announced his plan to use his executive rule-making authority to bolster state healthcare programs and give 500,000 more Illinoisans access to affordable health coverage and services, including;
o Every uninsured woman in Illinois will be eligible to get screened and treated for breast and cervical cancer, greatly improving cancer outcomes and saving lives.
o Poor adults who are not eligible for Medicaid will have the chance to see a doctor regularly and get the prescription medications they need.
o More working and middle-class uninsured parents will receive access to health coverage at affordable rates through the Family Care program.
o Children in the All Kids program who have pre-existing conditions will continue to have access to affordable health insurance up to age 21.
o Families struggling with the high cost of health insurance premiums will be able to apply for yearly subsidies worth 20% of their annual premiums, up to $1,000.