Illinois House OKs $3.7B funding bills with GOP opposed

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Democratic-led Illinois House passed legislation to allocate nearly $3.7 billion dollars for colleges and various human service programs amid criticism from Republicans who called it a pre-primary sham because the state has no money.

Democrats unveiled the proposal late Wednesday evening, angering Republicans who said they were not consulted. Gov. Bruce Rauner’s budget office sent a letter to House lawmakers before the vote saying he opposes the Democrats proposal. It would forgive repayment of $454 million taken from special state funds and earmark about $2.9 billion in general fund revenue. Federal money would bring the total to $3.7 billion.

Illinois has been operating without a budget since July 1 and Republicans insisted the Democrats’ idea was an empty promise ahead of the March 15 primaries.