Quinn's budget director makes stop in southern Illinois - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Quinn's budget director makes stop in southern Illinois


The budget crisis in Illinois took center stage in southern Illinois.  The governor's budget director paid a visit to Carterville and met with several business leaders.

The Director of the Governor's Office of Management and Budget David Vaught spoke about economic growth and job creation as keys to helping the state's finances. He talked about the governor's proposals to cut the state's natural gas utility tax, increase the number of Illinoisans with higher education degrees and providing tax credits for companies that hire veterans. All things Governor Pat Quinn recently spoke about during his State of the State address.

But a number of the questions centered on the problems with the pension and Medicaid systems. Vaught says groups are meeting on both issues. He added there's not a simple answer.

Vaught says when it comes to the pension system the governor told the group to look for a solution that's not spur of the moment.  

"So we don't have these scary looking numbers as well as strengthen the system. So that we continue to have a defined benefit pension system that provides appropriate kinds of retirement," Vaught said.

But retiree Bob Campbell, who listened to Vaught, said, "I think the legislature is being hoodwinked into saying oh it's all the pension problem, it's the big bad bogie man that's creating the problems for the state budget, and nothing could be farther from the truth."

Vaught's stop in southern Illinois was his third so far across the state. He says part of the solution to the state's budget problem involves getting feedback from voters. Vaught says he then takes that feedback to the governor.

Governor Quinn is set to make his budget address in just over two weeks.  

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