News in Brief: A State Capitals Roundup

Illinois Governor Is Urged to Drop Preschool Initiative

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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.

“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.

Vol. 25, Issue 29, Page 31

Published in Print: March 29, 2006, as Illinois Governor Is Urged to Drop Preschool Initiative

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