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The Latest: Illinois lawmakers pressing toward budget deal

June 29, 2016 - 5:03 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - The Latest on Illinois negotiations on a stopgap spending plan during the budget standoff (all times local):

6:30 p.m.

Illinois Republican senators say lawmakers are nearing an agreement on a six-month budget plan and a full-year's funding for public schools.

The tentative plan includes a $485 million increase for elementary and secondary education. Sen. Pam Althoff — a McHenry Republican — says that's the $235 million that GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner proposed and a $250 million equity grant to help schools with underprivileged low-income students.

Sen. Dave Syverson (SEE'-vur-suhn) of Rockford says $100 million of that goes to the Chicago Public Schools. But he says it's not the "bailout" for Chicago that Rauner opposes because the equity grant helps all schools.

Althoff says there's $673 million in the six-month budget plan for human services. That includes $20 million to restore programs such as the long-standing Teen REACH program that Rauner proposed ending.


5:30 p.m.

Illinois lawmakers and Gov. Bruce Rauner are trying to craft a short-term budget deal to ensure schools open this fall and social service programs are funded while an epic battle over a long-term spending plan continues.

Two House committee planned on meeting Wednesday evening and lawmakers are scheduled to be in session Thursday with the expectation that they can vote on a plan. The Republican governor and Democrats who control the Legislature have spent several hours the last two days trying to agree on a deal.

Negotiations have focused on funding public schools for a full year. Social services and colleges would get money for six months.

Illinois is days away from entering a second fiscal year without a full budget on July 1.


6:17 a.m.

Illinois lawmakers are returning to the state capitol amid new signs of optimism about a bipartisan deal to keep the state operating without a full budget.

The Legislature is meeting Wednesday for the first time since lawmakers adjourned in May without approving a full-year spending plan for the second straight year.

Illinois' new fiscal year begins Friday. That's when billions in patchwork spending that lawmakers approved for the current year — including money for K-12 education — will expire.

Late Tuesday, legislative leaders said they made progress during a nearly three-hour meeting with Gov. Bruce Rauner and would meet again Wednesday morning.

Senate Democrats and Republican leaders filed competing plans Tuesday aimed at keeping schools open this fall.

The major disagreement has been over money for education, particularly in Chicago.

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

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