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State Lawmakers Begin Passing New State Budget

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Illinois lawmakers have begun passing a new state budget. But work remains before the weekend deadline.

It appears likely budget talks will go down to the wire as Democrats in control of state government haggle over the final amounts to go for schools, universities, human services and other needs. A pair of smaller budget measures moved out of the House, but the bulk of spending is still to come. House Democrat Gary Hannig of Litchfield.

HANNIG: And that’s what we’re simply trying to do today is move on with these little agencies and send it over to the Governor for his consideration and let’s focus some time on the bigger agencies.

The Senate approved a way to restructure billions of dollars in pension bond debt, a move that could free up more money. But it faces an uphill battle in the House, and without it the budget could wind up way out of balance. Hannig says the if that occurs, it will be up to the governor to reduce spending. If no budget is approved before the end of the day Saturday, it will take more votes to pass anything and Republicans, who have been shutout of negotiations, would have to be included.

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