CHICAGO (AP) — Mayors across Illinois are joining forces to urge lawmakers not to cut local funding to balance the next state budget.

The coalition of mayors and municipal groups launched a website and social media platform called ProtectMyTown.

They’re urging Illinois residents to visit the site, send a message to legislators and the governor and share the site through Facebook and Twitter.

The state collects about $1.2 billion in local revenue annually. The money is supposed to be returned to local governments, where it helps cover costs such as police departments and garbage collection.

In recent years the state has held on to hundreds of millions of dollars to help close a budget gap.

Palos Hills Mayor Gerald Bennett says that passes the state’s financial burden to local residents.

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