By Associated Press - Wednesday, February 4, 2015

CHICAGO (AP) - U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin says the budget proposed by President Barack Obama maintains funding for two national laboratories in Illinois.

The spending plan includes $5.3 billion for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science. That’s the primary funding source for the Argonne National Laboratory in the Chicago suburb of Lemont and Fermilab in suburban Warrenville.

Argonne is one of the Energy Department’s largest research centers. Its research spans fields including high-energy physics, climatology and biotechnology. Fermilab is a leading center of high-energy physics research.

The two labs employ roughly 4,600 people.

Durbin is co-chairman of the Senate National Laboratory Caucus.

He says the funding would “protect America’s position at the forefront of discovery and technological innovation.”

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