Illinois lawmakers moving forward with $35B budget

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Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Democrat-controlled Legislature is expected to move forward with a new state budget, despite Republican concerns they're spending too much.
   
The Illinois House voted Tuesday to send pieces of the approximately $35 billion general fund budget to the Senate.
   
House lawmakers are expected to continue voting on other parts of the spending plan on Wednesday. The Senate also could begin voting on it.
   
Democrats say an unanticipated increase in revenue has helped pay down overdue bills and avoid cuts to education and other areas in the fiscal year that starts July 1.
   
Republicans say the plan increases spending by $2 billion at a time when Illinois still has billions of dollars in unpaid bills.
   
Lawmakers also have yet to resolve the state's nearly $100 billion pension problem.

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