Illinois Senate advances plan to increase school funding

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SPRINGFIELD — An Illinois Senate committee has advanced legislation to increase funding for education this year to a level first proposed by Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Lawmakers voted 9-2 Wednesday to move the bill to the Senate floor.

It would authorize an additional $74 million for K-12 and early childhood education, bringing the total increase over last year to $344 million.

The Republican governor recommended a $344 million increase in his proposed 2016 budget. But his plan included large cuts to other programs such as Medicaid.

Democrats sent Rauner a budget that cut those programs less than Rauner requested and increased money for schools by $269 million.

Rauner signed the school funding bill last week. In a news release, he said he “would have done more for our schoolchildren.”

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The bill is SB2039.

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