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Governor is right; there's 'a lot more work to do'

Governor is right; there's 'a lot more work to do'

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Hang on to your wallet and your child's piggy bank, Gov. Rod Blagojevich has been re-elected. That's what should have followed Blagojevich's warning to "strap on your seat belts, put on your helmet and get ready to roll."

As the governor said in his victory speech, "We've got a lot more work to do."

And a big part of that work must include finding ways to pay for all the programs Blagojevich has promised - or scaling them back to a level we can afford.

We look forward to seeing how he intends to implement his promises without bankrupting the state or future generations, or running businesses out of Illinois.

Although the governor has promised not to raise income taxes - and has kept that promise - he has cobbled together funding by raising fees, shifting burdens to local governments, taking money from special funds for other purposes and putting off obligations such as pension payments.

That means you still have to pay more either to government or to businesses that must raise prices because of additional state fees or late payments.

Some of the one-time tactics Blagojevich used to raise money in his first term won't be available in his second. Instead, he is substituting ideas such as privatizing the state lottery.

With both houses of the General Assembly and all the constitutional offices in the hands of the Democratic Party, it is more important than ever for these elected officials to remember their obligations and loyalty to those they were elected to serve. The people, not the party, should come first.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan and Comptroller Dan Hynes have exhibited that independence and responsibility. We trust newly elected Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias will do the same after he is sworn in.

Likewise, the Legislature must be the taxpayers' watchdog. A 49 percent plurality victory is not a mandate for all the governor's programs.

Blagojevich should work more closely with the Legislature, including Republican members, in his second term. He should spend more time in Springfield, the seat of government.

And he should live up to his original promises from the 2002 campaign to end "business as usual" and "pay to play politics" in state government.


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