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.

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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.

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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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