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WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

Illinois House Approves Major Portions Of New State Budget

Flickr user 401(K) 2012 / "Money" (CC v. 2.0)

The Illinois House approved major portions of a new state budget, despite Republican opposition.

The Democrats’ budget includes funding many programs Gov. Bruce Rauner planned to cut, even though the state is short about $3 billion to pay for that spending. They say finding the matching revenue is a work in progress.

Republicans like Representative David Leitch from Peoria say it's an unbalanced budget. 

“I'm very concerned that this process may be giving false hopes to community-based agencies throughout the state who actually rely on what we do here to provide these services," Leitch said.

House Republican Leader Jim Durkin from Western Springs calls it irresponsible to continue to pass budgets that give agencies more money than the state has.

"Think about all the promises that were not kept, and you knew you could never keep those, expectations that cannot be met with social services agencies,” Durkin said. “That, to me, is a tragedy."

Governor Bruce Rauner has not proposed a balanced budget either, says Democratic Representative Lou Lang from Skokie. 

"The governor's own budget was out of whack ... by billions of dollars, and purposefully so," Lang said. 

Critics say Rauner’s budget included savings that were unlikely to occur. More budget votes are scheduled for Wednesday. 

Lisa Ryan is a graduate student in the public affairs reporting program at the University of Illinois at Springfield. She previously worked at Indiana Public Radio and the college radio station founded by David Letterman. She is a 2014 broadcast journalism and political science graduate of Ball State University.
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