by CHRISTOPHER WILLS, AP
A state budget, like the one Gov. Pat Quinn proposed last week, practically guarantees a flood of confusing, misleading and surprising statements. After all, it's an incredibly complex document that can stir up anger over both policy and politics.
Here's a closer look at what Illinois officials have said about spending, prison overcrowding and political leadership.
Spending: Up or down?
In his budget address, Quinn said his proposed budget "calls for $425 million less in agency spending than last year's budget." Background material from his office says agencies would spend $901 million less than they did five years ago, a 3.5 percent drop.
Meanwhile, Republicans insist Quinn's budget actually would increase spending by $50 million from last year and a whopping $3.4 billion from five years ago.
Who's right? Both sides are, depending on what kind of spending you count.
Quinn is counting the dollars that he has the most ability to control — money for salaries or rent, for instance. He calls it "agency spending," meaning the money spent by the agencies he oversees. [MORE]