SPRINGFIELD — Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today balanced the Fiscal Year 2009 budget after House Democrats failed to pass new funding to support a spending plan that was over $2 billion out of balance. The Governor was forced to veto $1.4 billion in initiatives after the House of Representatives clearly showed Wednesday that they did not intend to take any action on the measure.
“I am forced to make these vetoes because of the inability of the House of Representatives to pass the revenue needed to support the worthwhile programs funded within the budget. Because of the House’s irresponsible action, the state is left with a budget that is a record $2 billion out of balance,” Blagojevich said. “The Illinois Constitution is clear – the state must have a balanced budget.
“I will not let the state succumb to an economic crisis or risk a government shut-down because of the House of Representatives and the dereliction of their Constitutional duty.”
Today, the General Assembly met in a Special Session convened by the Governor to pass the necessary revenue to balance the budget. A House Committee of the Whole heard from a compelling group of advocates, asking them to pass the Illinois Works capital plan and balance the budget so that reductions would not have to be made. Advocates testifying in support of the capital plan and the fund transfer legislation included members of the: Illinois Works Coalition, AFL-CIO, Chicago Building Trades, and Laborers’ International Union of North America.
However, it was clear that the Committee Hearing was not a genuine attempt to learn more about the revenue bills and the capital plan, as numerous groups who requested to testify were turned away.
“The time for talk is over, it is now the time for action,” Blagojevich said, noting that the House passed its out-of-balance budget over a month ago. “I acted today because I wanted the House to be clear on what the consequences of their inaction will truly be to the residents of Illinois.”