Moving Towards A State Budget Vote

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- Illinois House members could vote as early as today on a possible $27.8 billion state budget.

That's despite confusion over money, timing and the fate of certain proposals. It's also unclear if Governor Rod Blagojevich (blah-GOY'-uh-vich) is even willing to sign.

House committees held appropriations hearings last night but produced few details and no copy of the legislation.

Lawmakers described a budget that would increase spending by $2.1 billion, or about eight percent. Education spending would increase about $600 million, or about nine percent, which may be the largest in Illinois history.

Without a budget, the state comptroller won't begin processing paychecks due to nearly five-thousand employees next week and $170 million in school aid payments scheduled to be mailed tomorrow.

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