$38.5 billion budget passes Illinois Senate

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ILLINOIS (WAND) – A proposal for a new budget has passed in the Illinois Senate.

State lawmakers voted 56-2 in favor of a $38.5 billion spending plan. Members of the Senate spent hours on Thursday evening debating the proposal, which Sen. Andy Manar says is about $1 billion higher than the current budget.

The budget Illinois has now expires on June 30.

Sen. Heather Steans of Chicago voiced approval for the plan, saying Illinois has a “truly balanced budget”. She is the Democratic chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations committee.

Spending in most places stays the same, but public safety spending would drop if the plan is passed. 

The budget also involves millions of dollars in voluntary pension trade-off savings. Illinois has a shortfall of $130 billion in its retirement programs, and the budget is expected to save $445 million in pension payments.

The spending plan needs $5 in money from an income tax increase that Gov. Bruce Rauner opposed last year. His office had no comment on the budget passing the Senate when The Associated Press reached out Wednesday night.

The budget plan is going to the Illinois House for approval on Thursday.

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