Illinois lawmakers OK funds for construction

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) -- The Illinois House has approved legislation that funds continued work on nearly $20 billion worth of capital construction projects.

The legislation is part of a $31 billion capital construction program that lawmakers approved in 2009. The package was largely paid for through legalizing video poker, raising taxes on candy, liquor and beauty products and privatizing the Illinois lottery.

The legislation was approved Wednesday. It next heads to the Senate.

The legislation contains $10 million for renovation of Chicago's Uptown Theatre, $13 million for sewage treatment and water projects and $75 million for school construction.

The legislation also authorizes the state to pay about $50 million in raises to AFSCME union workers that were promised in 2011 and another $50 million for Chicago teachers' pensions.
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