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Springtime In Springfield

  In case you hadn't noticed, today marks two weeks since Governor Pat Quinn's budget address in Springfield.  Remember, the speech in which he described Illinois' $13 billion dollar budget deficit as a fiscal crisis of "epic proportions".

  Apparently, House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton were not impressed.  The democratic legislative leaders still have not begun consideration of Quinn's call for an income tax increase to support public education.  Only today did Madigan introduce a measure to overhaul the state employee pension system, considered a key "pillar" in the Governor's recovery plan.

  But don't expect lawmakers to get much work done on pension reform or any other budget-related matter in the near future.

   Despite the now $6 billion backlog of unpaid state bills (including invoices from school districts issuing pink slips to teachers) and other Illinois financial horrors, Madigan and Cullerton at this writing still plan to adjourn their chambers for "Spring Break".




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