Illinois budget includes cuts to education, Medicaid

By WEEK Producer

June 1, 2012 Updated Jun 1, 2012 at 9:56 PM CDT

SPRINGFIELD, Ill -- The Illinois General Assembly finished it's spring session late Thursday night.

Members approved a budget that cuts Higher education, Medicaid and other discretionary spending items. Overall, spending is increased due to mandatory spending on pensions which increased by $1.1 billion.

Pension reform was left unfinished after any agreements between House Republicans and Democrats fell apart.

"Some of the things you've seen us do in the last couple of weeks is a good indication that we're moving in the right direction...we're spending less money than we spent the year before, we passed a sweeping medicaid reform," said Illinois Senator Dave Koehler (D-46th).

Governor Pat Quinn said he will call the members of the legislature back into session this summer after he meets with leaders and the House and Senate.

He called for the "reform of our lifetime," but offered no details on how a compromise will be reached.

Union leaders said changes to the current pension system are 'theft", and will be fought in the courts.

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