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Legislation approved Thursday is supposed to save hundreds of millions of dollars for Illinois businesses and government.

The bill involves unemployment insurance. Right now, Illinois is paying out so much in unemployment benefits that it has to borrow money from the federal government. That means paying interest, and it triggers higher rates for Illinois businesses.

So officials plan to borrow money at low rates and use that to pay the federal government. They say that will save Illinois about $240 million over the next few years.

It should also save businesses about $400 million and let many pay lower rates to the unemployment system.

Gov. Pat Quinn backs the legislation. The Illinois Retail Merchants Association says it will help businesses grow.

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