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Amtrak official says proposed cut to state budget would result in Illinois service reductions


SPRINGFIELD, Illinois — An official with Amtrak says service reductions in Illinois will happen if budget cuts proposed by Gov. Bruce Rauner are approved.

Amtrak representatives testified Thursday to the Senate Appropriations Committee on its proposed fiscal year 2016 budget.

Derrick James is a senior manager of government affairs for the publicly funded railroad. He says the proposal to reduce Amtrak's state funding from $42 million to $26 million would result in service cuts.

James says Amtrak would take direction from the Illinois Department of Transportation on which state routes would be impacted.

Committee member Republican Sen. Dale Righter of Mattoon told Amtrak officials that budget cuts are coming.

Lawmakers asked Amtrak officials to provide a cost-saving analysis to see if service reductions could be avoided under a smaller budget.

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