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Senate Budget Talks On Hold, Hope For February Action

Matt Turner

Top leaders in the Illinois Senate continue to negotiate on a "grand bargain" to end the state's budget standoff.

They left the Capitol on an 11-day break Thursday without voting on the proposals. Senate President John Cullerton, a Democrat, is negotiating with his Republican counterpart. He told his colleagues when session resumes next month, come back ready to vote.

"The problems we face are not going to disappear. In fact, they're going to get more difficult every day," Cullerton said.

The latest version of the deal includes higher income taxes, a property tax freeze, and changes to government pensions. That's led to widespread opposition from interests across the political spectrum.Illinois has gone a record 19 months without a full spending plan.

Illinois has gone a record 19 months without a full spending plan.

Brian Mackey formerly reported on state government and politics for NPR Illinois and a dozen other public radio stations across the state. Before that, he was A&E editor at The State Journal-Register and Statehouse bureau chief for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.
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