Education A State Capitals Roundup

Illinois Governor Is Urged to Drop Preschool Initiative

By Linda Jacobson — March 28, 2006 1 min read
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Illinois Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich should abandon his $45 million plans to provide preschool for all of the state’s 3- and 4-year-olds and health coverage for all uninsured children in Illinois, and instead focus on paying for the state’s pension obligations, according to a report from the Chicago-based Civic Federation.

“State of Illinois FY2007 Recommended Operating Budget: Analysis and Recommendations” is available from the Civil Federation.

“The state should meet existing obligations before undertaking expensive new programs, especially those with recurring costs,” the report says of the governor’s proposed $45.4 billion budget for fiscal 2007.

The nonpartisan government-research organization recommended that the governor convene a commission to conduct a comprehensive review of state spending priorities.

But Lena Parsons, a spokeswoman for the governor’s office of management and budget, said that Gov. Blagojevich, a Democrat, has done a better job than his predecessors of paying for the pension system.

A version of this article appeared in the March 29, 2006 edition of Education Week

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