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Never-ending budget debacle

Friday, Aug 31, 2007

* Editorial: Beware the blade of Blago

Meanwhile, as if the tax dollars already wasted on the overtime sessions weren’t enough, now Illinois taxpayers get to spend even more on a court battle over whether the governor can call even more special sessions - the Legislature has “in no way completed all the business necessary” - to squander even more of their money.

* Rep. Mitchell and others decry downstate project cuts

Still, while Decatur’s CeaseFire anti-violence program, Good Samaritan Inn, Salvation Army and other agencies saw some funding slashed in the district of state Rep. Bob Flider, D-Mount Zion, projects requested by Mitchell survived the ax.

But Mitchell said some people complaining now about the process have been silent for too long in criticizing what they see as a stranglehold that Chicago Democrats have on state government. The governor has kept some schools and communities in Republican districts from receiving money that had been appropriated to them in the past, he said.

* Tribune Editorial Board interview with Dick Durbin

On feuding Democrats in Illinois:

I received a letter about two months ago from a group in Chicago asking me if I would go to Springfield and mediate their difficulties. I said I’d rather go to Iraq — and I meant it. I’m very disappointed as a Democrat that it has reached this point. I cannot explain it other than there are personal elements involved here that have unfortunately transcended the real issues and there is not a good spirit of cooperation and compromise.

When we passed the federal highway bill we brought more federal funds back to Illinois than ever in our history. The stars all lined up. It’s a huge pot of money. We’ve never had this much federal money available for our state. It all requires a [state] match. Unfortunately, our budget in the state can’t accommodate that match. I begged the governor and all the leaders — “If you can’t agree on anything else, please don’t miss out on this opportunity for federal funds.” It looks like we missed a year of construction. We’re just squandering these opportunities to bring federal resources in.

* Editorial: Governor’s lawsuit pointless and petty

* Budget cuts hurt agencies

* Budget cuts hurt museums too

* State budget cuts could hit Springfield park district

- Posted by Paul Richardson        

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