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State Lawmakers Return To Finalize Capital Budget

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Illinois General Assembly

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) – Illinois lawmakers return to Springfield Wednesday to approve funding for the state’s capital construction program.

As WBBM Newsradio 780 Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports, they are also expected to give themselves a dozen unpaid days off.

At the session, the Illinois State Senate is expected to resolve differences with the House over spending for public works projects throughout the states, and state Sen. Dan Kotowski (D-Park Ridge) says he also expects strong approval for the House-passed measure requiring each member to take a dozen furlough days.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780 Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports

“We’re going to cut legislators’ salaries from their base by $3,100 – that’s an additional $3,100 from last year – and we’re going to reduce the salaries of cuts to some officers and state directors, to a savings of taxpayers of $1.2 million,” Kotowski said.

Kotowski says the General Assembly must show the public that it is willing to make sacrifices along with everyday citizens, and that the state can live within its means.

But the capital construction program is the primary purpose of the session. Gov. Pat Quinn had threatened to shut down the summer construction season unless a special session was called.

The failure to finalize a capital construction budget stems from a political standoff that occurred when Senate Democrats attached unrelated spending to the construction bill that would have bankrolled more than $400 million worth of social service programs.

They had hoped including the money in the construction budget would force house Democrats and Republicans to support the appropriation. It did not, and the General Assembly adjourned without voting on the measure.

The authority to pay for construction projects would have expired June 30.

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