CHICAGO -- Illinois legislative leaders on Friday reached a tentative agreement on a fiscal 1995 budget in the absence of Gov. Jim Edgar, who underwent heart surgery Thursday night.
In Edgar's place, chief of staff Jim Reilly and Lieut. Gov. Bob Kustra hammered out an agreement with the leaders for a $32 billion budget for the fiscal year that began July 1.
The tentative agreement eliminates a debt refinancing plan favored by the Edgar Administration and instead calls for $161 million of budget cuts. The savings, along with higher-than-anticipated revenues, would provide $520 million to help pay off a backlog of Medicaid bills after the money is matched with federal Medicaid funds.
The agreement also adds $25 million to the state's education budget.
The legislature is scheduled to return to session Monday to begin voting on budget bills.
After experiencing discomfort in his chest for a few weeks, Edgar underwent quadruple bypass surgery at a suburban Chicago hospital.
Edgar was in good condition Friday following the surgery. A statement from his press office said the governor would remain in the hospital for six to 10 days and will resume "normal activities within a month as chief executive and a candidate for re-election."
Edgar, a Republican, will face state Comptroller Dawn Clark Netsch, a Democrat, in the Nov. 8 general election.
While he has had heart problems in the past, Edgar did not suffer a heart attack or any damage to his heart prior to the surgery, according to his doctors.
Kustra had announced his resignation from the lieutenant governor's office effective Aug. 1.
However, Kustra told reporters on Friday that in light of Edgar's surgery, he will remain in office as long as needed before beginning his new career as a radio talk show host in Chicago.