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WSIU InFocus Features Lawmaker Reaction to State Budget

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Contact: Jak Tichenor, producer, WSIU TV, (618) 453-6187, jak.tichenor@wsiu.org

Streaming video of this episode is available at this link.

Carbondale, Ill. - On the next episode of the WSIU TV series WSIU In Focus, State Senators Gary Forby and John O. Jones and State Representatives John Bradley and Mike Bost react to a controversial 26-million dollar budget passed by Illinois lawmakers ahead of their summer adjournment. The program airs on WSIU TV 8/WUSI TV 16, the public television stations of Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC), this Friday night at 9pm, with repeats on Sunday, July 26 at 12:30pm and Friday, July 31 at 5pm.

The Illinois General Assembly has gone home for the summer after passing a controversial operating budget, but Illinois' fiscal crisis is far from being resolved. Lawmakers balked at Governor Pat Quinn's proposed income tax hike to help balance the state budget at the end of May, and the state went without a budget until the middle of July when a last minute agreement was reached on a spending plan that relies on 3.5 billion dollars in borrowing, plus delaying payments on three billion dollars worth of bills owed to state contractors and vendors.

The agreement also gives the Governor sweeping authority to cut and hold back another two billion dollars in state spending. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle say the budget agreement is not a permanent solution to the state's fiscal problems and only postpones politically unpopular decisions about raising taxes and cutting state programs until early 2010.

In this special episode of WSIU InFocus, producer Jak Tichenor moderates discussion about the budget decision with Senators Forby and Jones and Representatives Bradley and Bost.

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