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Bruce Rauner

Illinois budget tiff means more flood damage before buyouts

Dozens of southern Illinois families still awaiting new housing after they accepted government buyouts following the 2011 Mississippi River flood instead got socked by another round of damage amid the prolonged political fight over the state's budget.

Alexander County officials estimate that several dozen homes approved for buyouts in spring 2015 suffered further damage from early-winter floods that toppled levees on the Mississippi and its tributaries in Missouri and Illinois in late December and early January. Officials say roughly one dozen of those homes were occupied at the time.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources in June suspended a buyout program in which...