SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois House has approved a measure to provide back pay to thousands of state workers who’ve been waiting for it since 2011.

The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports the bill (House Bill 4290) passed the House 98-10 Thursday. It now moves to the Senate.

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The legislation authorizes spending more than $63 million owed to about 24,000 state employees in the departments of Corrections, Juvenile Justice, Human Services, Natural Resources and Public Health. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees union, which represents the workers, says the back pay averages $2,500 per employee.

Former Gov. Pat Quinn said in 2011 the state couldn’t pay a 2 percent raise to the workers because lawmakers didn’t appropriate enough money.

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Since then the state has come up with funds to pay many of the workers, but 24,000 never got their back pay.

Information from: The State Journal-Register, http://www.sj-r.com

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