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WSIU to Feature Live Coverage of Governor Quinn's Budget Message

Friday, March 5, 2010

Contact: Jak Tichenor, WSIU Public Television, (618) 453-6187 or (618) 201-6887, jak.tichenor@wsiu.org; Jeff Williams, WSIU Public Radio, (618) 453-6101, jeff.williams@wsiu.org

Carbondale, Ill.  - WSIU Public Television and WSIU Public Radio, the public media arm of Southern Illinois University Carbondale, will offer complete coverage of Governor Patrick Quinn's annual Budget Message before a joint session of the General Assembly on Wednesday, March 10 at noon.

WSIU TV 8 and WUSI TV 16 will carry the Governor's speech live as a special edition of the statewide public television series Illinois Lawmakers, with a repeat broadcast at 10:30pm. WSIU-TV's veteran Statehouse reporter, Jak Tichenor, will anchor coverage of the speech with analysis from Rich Miller, editor and publisher of the influential Capitolfax newsletter on state politics. Following the speech, Illinois Lawmakerswill offer reaction from legislative leaders and budget experts from both sides of the aisle in the Illinois House and Senate.

WSIU 91.9 FM and 91.9 FM HD, WUSI 90.3 FM, and WVSI 88.9 FM also will carry the address and subsequent analysis live at noon via Illinois Public Radio.

“Illinois' fiscal crisis is second only to California's in its severity,” says WSIU-TV producer Jak Tichenor, “and there are no easy ways of digging our way out of a $12.8-billion budget hole projected for Fiscal year 2011." Governor Quinn has already proposed $2-billion in spending cuts for public education, social services, and public safety sectors of state government, but that's only a fraction of the amount needed to close the gap between spending and revenues. “The Governor has made it clear that he intends to propose higher taxes to help solve the crisis, but fellow Democrats in the House and Senate are reluctant to consider raising taxes in an election year while Republicans at the Capitol have said they won't support any calls for tax hikes,” Tichenor says.

WSIU's weekly television series WSIU InFocuswill offer reaction to the Governor's budget speech by local Democratic and Republican state lawmakers, as well as Southern Illinois University President Glenn Poshard, in a special edition airing on Friday, March 12 at 9pm. The program will repeat on Sunday, March 14 at 12:30pm.

Now in its 24th year, Illinois Lawmakers, a production of the public television stations of Illinois, is broadcast from the State Capitol in Springfield in the fall and spring and is carried simultaneously on 10 PBS stations throughout the state.

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