* 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.
* 12:03 pm - The full press release is here.
*** 12:53 pm *** You can download the budget message here. There are no descriptions in the line and reduction vetoes, so they’ll all have to be matched up to the budget bill one by one. Fun.
* 1:16 pm - From the AP…
Without an override in both chambers, the governor’s cuts would become law. The changes he seeks to make in health-care programs will come under heavy scrutiny to determine if they need to clear legislative oversight panels, which could challenge or block some of his moves.
The parts of the budget the governor did not veto become law.
*** 1:16 pm *** It appears that most, if not all, of the House Republican “pork” was left intact. Bizarre, eh?