Big debates expected on Illinois bills on unions, colleges

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Capitol building in Springfield, Illinois.

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) _ Illinois lawmakers are expected to consider contentious pieces of legislation regarding unions and higher education funding.

The Democrat-led Senate is scheduled to vote Wednesday on whether to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto last month of a bill to add funding for community colleges and tuition grants for low-income students. The Republican governor says he supports funding for higher education, but told lawmakers in his veto message that the state doesn’t have the $721 million that their legislation seeks to allocate.

The state still doesn’t have a budget for the current fiscal year.

Senate Democrats are considering a proposal to weaken Rauner’s position negotiating a new labor agreement with state workers by allowing an independent arbitrator to step in.

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