Senate Approves School Construction and Teacher Insurance

The Senate voted 56 to zero to prohibit the governor from putting the program under his control and requiring school districts to use state-approved architects and engineers.

There's no funding for construction in the bill that now goes to Blagojevich for action. Officials said it might be added in ongoing budget negotiations.

The bill also would salvage an insurance program for 42,000 retired teachers set to expire Thursday. It requires higher premiums from retired teachers and more state aid.

Republican Senator Bill Brady of Bloomington complained that it would cut teachers' insurance benefits at the same time Blagojevich wants to greatly expand health care coverage for the poor.