Budget would mean more money for schools, veterans

      A spending plan the Illinois House has approved includes more money for schools, veterans' homes and prisons.

      The House adopted nearly 80 appropriations measures Thursday that form the basis of a $37 billion budget that begins July 1.

      It includes increases of $25 million for early childhood education and $54 million for public school transportation.

      Increased staffing in veterans homes would cost $9 million.

      Another $9 million would go to the Department of Corrections to re-open two closed juvenile facilities. The Murphysboro site would become a facility for adult drunk driving offenders. The former youth prison in Joliet would be transformed into a center for treating prisoners with severe mental health problems.

      The plan relies on making a temporary income tax increase permanent but lawmakers have yet to OK that.