A $454 million bill to increase funding for financially struggling Illinois colleges and universities has cleared the state Senate.
Lawmakers approved the bill on a near unanimous vote and sent the measure to the House on Thursday.
Democrats who control the Legislature and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner have been unable to agree on a budget since July 1, and higher education institutions have been forced to lay off staff.
Last month, lawmakers used $600 million left over in an education fund to help colleges make it through the summer.