Budget? We Don't Need No Stinkin' Budget!
By Kevin Robinson in News on Aug 22, 2007 1:30PM
Now that we've gone 21 days since legislators approved a budget, Governor Blagojevich is starting to talk like he really will veto parts of the bill. You may remember his promise to cut $500 million in pork and special projects from the bill, and to move money around to cover his universal health plan. According to the Associated Press, there's no shortage of ludicrous and silly spending in this budget, including hosting a sister city from Sicily. Along the way, however, there is special spending in the bill for more important resources for communities throughout the state, including new fire equipment, social service grants, and sanitation upgrades. Said Morris Mayor Richard Kopczick of $75,000 alloted for a water filtration system for his town, "We're not looking at building a 'bridge to nowhere' here. This is for the health and safety of the community."
With the economy still sluggish and the recent near-collapse of the housing market, Chicago is feeling the pain as well. It's no secret that the mayor has been eying a property tax increase. After rounds of budget cuts, Daley telling city workers that earn more than $75,000 a year to take a second unpaid furlough day, and the council considering a bottled water tax to close a budget gap of nearly $218 million, it isn't looking good for home owners in the city, (not that it's been looking good for homeowners for a while). The Sun-Times' Fran Spielman reported that an "anonymous source" at City Hall thinks the mayor is pissed at some of the aldermen for turning their backs on his idea to raise property taxes and speculates that he may "go to [a $30 million] cap. It'd be foolish not to."
With the state teetering on the brink of financial ruin, it remains to be seen how Blagojevich may punish legislators who turned against him in the budget battle. The sad thing is that the pawns in the macho game of chess are the people and communities of Illinois.
Image via the Gotham Gazette.