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Illinois' senior U.S. Senator is making no apologies for supporting earmarks.

Dick Durbin is a Springfield Democrat and the Senate Majority Whip. He's facing GOP state Sen. Jim Oberweis in a re-election bid. Durbin told attendees at a forum in Bloomington Wednesday coordinated by the Illinois Farm Bureau that he feels earmarks - funds Congress appropriates for specific purposes - have helped agriculture in Illinois. Durbin is facing GOP state Sen. Jim Oberweis in his bid for re-election. Oberweis opposes earmarks.

Durbin highlighted federal funding of a crop sciences building at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. He says the center has served as a "centerpiece" of efforts for agriculture at the university.

Along with Durbin, Oberweis, GOP governor candidate Bruce Rauner and Gov. Pat Quinn are attending the forum.

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