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Illinois lawmakers returned to Springfield today as state government is closing on 22 months without a budget, and prospects for an overall deal look grim. Governor Bruce Rauner has been saying he’s heard there's good progress on an overall budget deal. But Democrats in the Senate say they don’t know what the Republican governor is talking about. Legislators have been on a two week recess, and say no high-level meetings have been taking place.
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Flooding has delayed progress on a new bridge that will span the Illinois River at Meredosia in the western part of the state. The bridge project was scheduled to be finished next year, but Halverson Construction Superintendent Scott Halverson says now that date is 2019.
Several Democrats joined Republicans in the Senate to confirm former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue as the next secretary of agriculture. The vote was 87 to 11. Perdue's cousin, Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., voted "present" and presided over the vote. Sonny Perdue grew up on a farm in central Georgia and has owned several agriculture companies. He is not associated with the food company Perdue or the poultry producer Perdue Farms. NPR's Geoff Bennett reports for our Newscast unit: "As agriculture...
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