Governor Rod Blagojevich announced June 24 he will cut nearly $1.5 billion from the Fiscal Year (FY) 2009 state budget passed May 31 by lawmakers, unless the House of Representatives approves several revenue sources to offset a nearly $2 billion gap between projected revenues and spending, according to Senator Tim Bivins.

The House must act by July 9, which is the date after which the state will not have the revenue to pay certain bills. State Comptroller Dan Hynes reaffirmed the time crunch, sending a letter June 26 to state officials cautioning that failure to approve a budget by July 10 could result in missed paychecks for state employees.

Senator Bivins said the Governor’s plan to reduce spending by nearly $1.5 billion is a step in the right direction. Even with the cuts, the FY 2009 budget would still have more than $1.2 billion in new spending, an increase of 4.5 percent over the FY 2008 budget.

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