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A bicyclist rides through the SIU campus as the rain comes down in November in Carbondale.

The Illinois Board of Higher Education has approved a state funding request that is $254 million more than last year but still below the amount they received in 2014-2015.

The (Champaign) News-Gazette reports that the board approved the $3.47 billion budget request Tuesday. That amount includes money for public universities, community colleges, grants and other programs for 2018-2019. The Illinois Legislature and Gov. Bruce Rauner will now consider it.

Public universities would get about $1.1 billion. That's up $24.1 million from this year. But Illinois public university presidents had asked the board for another $100 million to restore funding to levels before the two-year state budget impasse.

Board executive director Al Bowman says the presidents' request is legitimate but the board believes its recommendation should "reflect the state's current financial situation."

— Associated Press

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