Former Gov. Edgar speaks at University

Former Illinois State Governor Jim Edgar speaks at the Institute of Government and Public Affairs in Champaign, Ill. on Wednesday Feb. 11, 2009. Brennan Caughron

Former Illinois State Governor Jim Edgar speaks at the Institute of Government and Public Affairs in Champaign, Ill. on Wednesday Feb. 11, 2009. Brennan Caughron

By Stephen Spector

Illinois has publicly suffered in the last few months, but it was the best thing to happen to the state, according to former Gov. Jim Edgar who spoke today at the Institute of Government and Public Affairs.

Edgar spoke for a little more than hour about the livelihood of Illinois following back-to-back governor catastrophes.

“Illinois is ridiculed around the nation,” Edgar said. “This state has not been adrift for a few months, but a few years.”

Edgar said when he entered office the state deficit was $1 billion. Today, the state deficit is pushing $9 billion.

“It was a cupcake compared to what they have to face now,” Edgar said.

Edgar concluded that every fund in the budget should suffer monetary cuts, including higher education.

“There can be no sacred cows,” Edgar said. “Education and health care cannot be excluded. All areas will have to feel some of the pain.”