CHICAGO (CBS) — Gov. Pat Quinn says he did not want to kill the state of Illinois’ Circuit Breaker property tax grant program for low-income senior citizens, but he says he had little choice.

Lawmakers appropriated no money for the 40-year-old program, which has assisted low-income seniors and the disabled with their property taxes, with grants ranging from $90 to $350 a year.

Quinn said if nothing is appropriated, there is nothing to spend.

In recent years, Circuit Breaker grants have helped 120,000 Illinoisans a year.

When WBBM Newsradio asked Quinn if he would agree to fund it again, should an appropriation be made, he said he was open to the idea, but he is not holding his breath.

The governor said the fate of many worthwhile state programs depends on resolution of state pension debt issues.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts Reports

Watch & Listen LIVE