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Illinois House approves state budget


By Associated Press

Springfield, IL – The Illinois House is defying Governor Rod Blagojevich and his call for another special session on the budget.

The Democratic governor doesn't like the budget that lawmakers sent him today, so he ordered the Legislature to pass a temporary budget this weekend. But House Speaker Michael Madigan told members to ignore the governor's order. In fact, the Chicago Democrat told House members to go home indefinitely, even though the state budget hasn't been settled.

Madigan said Friday that lawmakers have done their job by passing a budget. Now it's up to the governor to take action. He says legislators will be called back if they are needed on the budget or other issues this summer.

Good news for Illinois state employees. They'll be paid this month even without a state budget.

A major union reached an agreement with the Illinois comptroller to keep delivering paychecks in August. The deal was included in a court order issued today by a Christian County judge. The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees says the deal ensures workers won't suffer because Illinois officials can't agree on a new budget. The old one expired July 31.

Comptroller Daniel Hynes had argued that he lacks legal authority to issue paychecks without a state budget in place. The court order now gives him that authority. But he says the judge won't extend the order another month. Hynes says it's vital that Governor Rod Blagojevich sign a new budget.


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