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Durbin, Bustos want Rauner to keep pledge for Rockford airport funds

SPRINGFIELD — Two Democrats in Illinois’ congressional delegation are urging Gov. Bruce Rauner to release money they say the state pledged for improvements at Chicago Rockford International Airport.

Sen. Dick Durbin and Rep. Cheri Bustos issued a letter to the Republican governor asking him to release $16.3 million for a midfield improvement project.

Rauner and the Democrat-controlled Legislature haven’t agreed on a budget for the fiscal year which began July 1.

The airport project is under way and Congress is considering adding $2.5 million in federal money. Durbin and Bustos say if Illinois reneges it could jeopardize the project and hundreds of jobs. They say they believe state lawmakers already appropriated the money.

However, Rauner’s spokeswoman Catherine Kelly said Sunday that proper documentation allowing the money to be released wasn’t submitted.