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Charlie Sykes: Sykes Writes

Gov. Scott Walker Joins me at 8:45

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... to talk about the contrast between Illinois and Wisconsin.


SPRINGFIELD -- Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn will deliver a bad-news budget today, suggesting that Illinois close numerous prisons, mental health centers and social service offices, cut health care for the poor and shut down popular tourist sites for two days a week at times during the year.

Money for schools would remain essentially flat -- a better fate than the 9 percent cuts most state agencies would suffer.

The problem is the same as it's been for years at the Capitol -- there's not enough money coming in while costs are rising. The quick math: The state expects to take in about $700 million more during the financial year that starts July 1. State worker pension costs alone will rise by more than $1 billion.

"There's no new money for anything else, that's the squeeze," said David Vaught, Quinn's budget director.


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