Lawmakers Say Governor Off to Good Start

By Michelle Mantel

Lawmakers Say Governor Off to Good Start

July 15, 2010 Updated Feb 7, 2009 at 7:38 PM CDT

Two local state lawmakers say they're already seeing progress with Illinois' new governor, Pat Quinn.
At a republican breakfast this morning in Washington, State Senator Dan Rutherford and Representative Keith Sommer say the state is facing some serious problems.

Senator Dan Rutherford says Governor Pat Quinn is already making progress that's benefiting central Illinois.

"My sense is the answer with Pontiac will also be dealt with relatively soon", said Rutherford.

And Senator Rutherford also gives Quinn an A+ for digging out what some called a problem for the Department of Natural Resources.

Rutherford said, "My sense is the issue of the state parks will likely be resolved relatively soon now having a professional as the New Director of Natural Resources."

But, the state's big budget deficit, at an estimated 9–billion dollars over the next two years, has many concerned especially with the current economic trend.

"I think we need to be sensitive of the fiscal condition of the state especially with the economic climate", said Rutherford.

Representative Keith Sommer of Morton said, "We have to figure out what the situation is fiscally.
I'm afraid that governor Blagojevich has hidden some of the budgeting problems it's going to take us a little while to figure out where we stand.

And shaking into the health care system, leaders are trying to figure out how the state will pay back various agencies.

Rutherford said, "The payment cycle is so far in the rear that they are basically,– they are the providers, the pharmacists, nursing homes and hospitals are usually carrying the debt on their back that the government of Illinois should be paying for."

Both Republicans say the newly seated Democratic governor is helping steer the state the right way.

Sommer said, "It's a whole different atmosphere, now people connect with the governor."

The new governor's connection with residents across the state that leaders hope will plow through concerns from the past administration and now the present.

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