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updated: 9/14/2012 7:47 PM

U of I trustees approve $5.4B budget for 3 campuses

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Associated Press

URBANA -- Trustees at the University of Illinois have approved a $5.4 billion operating budget that includes less money from the state but increases day-to-day spending by 3.7 percent.

Trustees approved the budget Friday. It applies to more than 77,000 students and 23,000 employees at three campuses in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield. The budget is up 7.6 percent, or about $383 million. But that figure includes about $227 million in employee health care and pension payments. Excluding those payments, the budget is up 3.7 percent.

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University officials say the budget includes $612 million in state appropriations, which is down $42.5 million or 6 percent.

University President Robert Easter called the reduction "anticipated and planned for." He called the university's finances "strong."

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