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Illinois lawmakers begin advancing budget deal

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Springfield, Illinois.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) _ Illinois lawmakers have started advancing pieces of a stopgap budget deal to keep the state running and fund schools in the fiscal year that begins Friday.

The House Executive Committee on Thursday morning unanimously passed legislation negotiated between Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democratic leaders who control the General ssembly.

The full House is expected to vote on the bills later Thursday, followed by the Senate.

Lawmakers say the deal includes money to fund state services for the next six months. It also provides a full year of money for elementary and secondary education, including hundreds of millions of dollars for financially struggling Chicago Public Schools.

The state also will begin contributing to the cost of pensions for teachers in Chicago, as it does for districts outside the city.