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Pieces of budget passing during last week of session

SPRINGFIELD -- We're starting to get a picture of what next year's state budget might look like.
SPRINGFIELD -- We're starting to get a picture of what next year's state budget might look like. The General Assembly is passing pieces of the budget during its final week. WCIA-3's Steve Staeger keeps us Connected to the Capitol.

Schools are getting a bit of a break. When Governor Quinn presented his budget earlier this year, it included a $400 million cut to education.

But, the budget the State Senate passed keeps funding level. It also keeps funding for school transportation level with this year's budget.

The biggest element actually puts more money into general state aid. It's the first time the General Assembly has done this in years. The bill would add $155 million to the general state aid pot and it keeps state funding at 89% of what's required by law. It's not fully-funded, but some lawmakers say it's better than the alternative.

"Certainly that doesn't restore all the funding, but it's a very significant and positive step in the right direction."

The House still has to pass the bill to make it part of the budget, plus the governor would have the final say before the budget kicks in in July. The Senate also passed a higher education budget keeping funding at the same level. Governor Quinn had asked for a 5% reduction in higher education funding.
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