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No 'business as usual' is usually hard on business

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By Rich Bauer, Managing Editor

When he campaigned for governor about six years ago, Rod Blagojevich promised to change state government. It would no longer be business as usual.

That is one campaign promise that Blagojevich has kept. Unfortunately, it has been a change for the worse.

In a term and a half, Blagojevich has drug out the budget process, alienated state legislators in both parties and has even played a key role in the divisiveness of his own party.

And in a time when the state is struggling with financial shortfalls, we taxpayers continue to pay several thousand dollars each day to transport him to and from his home in Chicago.

Its no wonder that there has been serious talk on legislation that would provide for a recall of the governor.

After dragging out the last budget process way past the deadline, our governor is now putting a couple of important programs at risk by not releasing the funds included in that budget.

At risk locally are our Soil and Water Conservation District and the Fayette County Cooperative Extension Office.

Those local offices, which together serve a large majority of Fayette County residents, are faced with cutting hours and staffing if the governor continues to delay the release of state monies.

Our legislators, state Sen. Frank Watson and state Rep. Ron Stephens, are among the large Southern Illinois contingent pushing for the release of the funds, but as we know all too well, this governor works under his own schedule, with no regard for anyone else, particularly those in Southern Illinois.

Its sad that as he continues to focus on new programs, all without any means to fund them, Blagojevich fails to see that existing programs get the money they need and have been awarded, especially those which benefit agriculture, our state's top industry.

In light of the governors approach and attitude, we need to let him and our legislators know that the existing programs are important.

rb