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

For Immediate Release
Monday, January 31, 2011

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

Carbondale, Ill. -- WSIU Public Broadcasting, the public media arm of Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC), will provide live coverage of Illinois Governor Pat Quinn's Budget Message to the Illinois General Assembly on Wednesday, February 16 from 12-1:30pm.

WSIU-TV 8/WUSI TV 16 (channels 8.1 and 16.1) will present the Governor's speech live as a special edition of the statewide public television series Illinois Lawmakers, a production of the Illinois Public Broadcasting Council. A repeat of the program will air at 10:30pm. Additional repeat broadcasts will air on WSIU's second digital channel, WSIU WORLD (channels 8.2 and 16.2) on Thursday, February 17 at 7pm and Saturday, February 19 at 8:30pm. 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/91.9 HD, WUSI 90.3 FM, and WVSI 88.9 FM also will carry the Governor's address and subsequent analysis live at noon via Illinois Public Radio.

“Illinois' budget outlook is still uncertain at best,” says WSIU-TV producer Jak Tichenor, despite Governor Quinn's recent signature of legislation hiking the state's personal income rate by 67-percent and raising the corporate tax rate by 46-percent. The tax increase only partially closes the state's estimated $15-billion budget gap and lawmakers have thus far rejected the Governor's efforts to borrow billions more to pay the state's creditors. The issue is further complicated by a recent appellate court decision that declared the state's $31-billion capital program unconstitutional. “If the ruling is upheld," said Tichenor, "lawmakers are going to have a tough time finding money to pay for construction bonds because of the public outcry over the income tax hike, much less rack up more debt to pay back bills."

WSIU's weekly television series WSIU InFocuswill offer reaction to the Governor's budget speech by local Democratic and Republican state lawmakers in a special edition airing on Friday, February 18 at 9pm. The program will repeat on Sunday, February 20 at 12:30pm.

A production of the Illinois Public Broadcasting Council, Illinois Lawmakers is broadcast from the State Capitol in Springfield in the fall and spring and is carried simultaneously on public broadcasting stations throughout the state. The series is in its 25th year.

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