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SPRINGFIELD - As lawmakers try to sort out a state spending plan, the state House Wednesday blocked a plan to charge newlyweds $5 more for their marriage licenses.

The money would have paid for a program to aid victims of domestic violence, and supporters argued that $5 was a small sum to pay.

The measure received 52 votes out of the 60 needed, but 16 members of the House were absent for Wednesday's overtime session.

But opponents successfully countered that while the $5 might not be a make-or-break decision for a couple about to spend thousands of dollars on their wedding, it was the principle of the thing.

That, and Gov. Rod Blagojevich would have been allowed to take unused money from the fund every year if he wanted, a provision opposed by Republicans.

"It's money for the governor to sweep for his spending plan," said state Rep. Bill Mitchell, R-Forsyth.

The legislation is House Bill 3393.

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