Blago Crisis Grinds Illinois Gov't to a Halt

Scandal pushes 'dysfunctional state' into 'total paralysis'
By Drew Nelles,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 4, 2009 4:03 PM CST
Illinois Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie, D-Chicago, oversees the Illinois House Impeachment Committee Hearing at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Ill., Monday, Dec. 29, 2008.    (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)
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(Newser) – The Rod Blagojevich crisis hasn’t just tarnished the Illinois governor’s reputation—it’s frozen the whole state government, the Chicago Tribune reports. Social programs aren’t getting funding, health care and education changes are on the shelf, and Blagojevich himself is isolated and mistrusted. "Absolutely, we're in a mess," one lawmaker says.

A legislative panel today begins drafting a report that may recommend impeachment, but Blago’s credibility is already in the tubes, with the feds denying him access to classified security information. And a huge budget crisis means that state services lack millions of dollars. “We're moving forward with no direction, no agenda for change,” the comptroller says. “We're just plodding along, and our revenues are collapsing.”