Illinois Democrats pass $3.8B funding bill opposed by GOP

Illinois Senate Democrats passed a $3.8 billion funding bill for colleges and social services despite Republican objections that the state doesn’t have the money to fulfill the proposal’s promises.
    
Democrats used their considerable majority in the chamber Thursday to easily pass the bill on a 39-18 vote. The bill would appropriate nearly $1.9 billion to colleges and universities that have not received funding since July 1, when the current year budget should’ve taken effect.
    
The Democrats’ standoff with Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner has led to layoffs at higher education institutions and the loss of tuition aid for low-income students.
    
Thursday’s funding bill would allocate $472.3 million to a variety of social service programs, including mental health and youth employment.
    
The governor’s budget office says the state doesn’t have the money to pay for the proposal.

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