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May 23, 2002

Governor to Introduce New Budget in Memorial Day Joint Session

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced the legislative leaders have agreed to his request they convene the General Assembly into a 6 p.m. Memorial Day joint session to introduce a new budget proposal for the 2003 fiscal year. The Governor will introduce a balanced budget that will solve the nearly $2 billion drop-off in revenue that occurred after the September 11th terrorist attacks.

“The new budget I will present will reflect my best efforts to respond to all that I have heard about the budget in dozens of meetings with the legislative leaders and in hundreds of letters, calls and meetings that my staff and I have received from concerned citizens and organizations,” Gov. Ryan said.

The Governor said meetings with the legislative leaders, while they have yielded ideas, have not resulted in any agreements. The Governor’s new budget plan will compile some of the best ideas from those meetings so that the members can vote to accept or reject them.

“Every lawmaker is trying to represent their constituents the best they can. But we have not been able to reach consensus among the legislative leaders in large part because their caucus members have competing priorities and concerns. With the new budget proposal, the entire General Assembly can debate the plan, raise their concerns and pass a budget,” Gov. Ryan said.

Most importantly the Governor said it is important to pass the budget by June 1st when a super-majority will be required.

“We have a budget crisis and we can ill-afford any delay. It is in the best interest of the people of Illinois for legislators to meet that deadline,” Gov. Ryan said.


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