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Democrats start moving stopgap state budget despite clear hurdles

Illinois House Democrats on Wednesday advanced a plan to rush more than $815 million to state universities and social service providers, but that money might not arrive anytime soon because Gov. Bruce Rauner criticized the proposal and Senate Democrats still are working on their own plan.
Despite the political hurdles, supporters said they wanted to press ahead, contending that colleges and groups who care for the state's most vulnerable people are in desperate need of a "lifeline." A previous stopgap state budget expired at the beginning of the year as Illinois gets closer to going two years without a full spending plan in place.
"I want to do everything that's in my power to help these people," said Rep. Greg Harris, a Chicago Democrat and key budget negotiator. "Is it going to solve the entire budget problem? No. But we have an opportunity to send three quarters of a billion dollars out into the state of Illinois to help people who have been suffering."
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