Illinois Democrats continued approving a new state budget on party-line votes. The Senate approved spending plans for education -- from elementary and high schools to colleges and universities -- with funding pretty much at last year's level.
Cuts proposed earlier this year by Governor Pat Quinn did not materialize, partly because Illinois collected more tax money than it expected in April.
Sen. Dan Kotowski, D-Park Ridge, says funding for higher education is critical because it's tied to the problem of unemployment.
There's a lot of angst, uproar and fussing at the capitol over what's happening with the state's pension systems.
What legislators do about it will have ramifications for the Illinois budget, as well as for state employees' and teachers' pocketbooks - not to mention politicians' own political and financial futures.