Senate passes budget that Republicans — with Rauner’s OK — call ‘balanced’

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Without the fanfare and drama underlying a nearly three-year budget impasse, the Illinois Senate on Wednesday night moved quickly to pass a budget deemed a true compromise by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. The Illinois Senate voted 56-2 to approve the $38.5 billion spending plan. The Illinois House planned to take up the budget on Thursday, the last day of the legislative session. There were no accusations lobbed, or political fodder on the Senate floor. At a brief Senate committee to discuss the budget, state Sen. Sue Rezin, R-Morris, even dubbed this year’s process a “love fest.”