- Associated Press - Sunday, January 8, 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The latest on budget negotiations in Springfield and the Legislature’s return to session:

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5:45 p.m.

A Senate Republican says a state budget deal negotiated by Democrats and her GOP colleagues could see action Monday as the Illinois Legislature returns to work.

Sen. Pamela Althoff (AWL’-tawf) says Democratic Senate President John Cullerton and GOP leader Christine Radogno (ruh-DOHN’-yoh) have been working to break a two-year budget standoff.

Althoff says the plan would include an increase in revenue - likely an income tax hike - to battle spending deficits but also key ideas that GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner has insisted on - including term limits on legislators and a local property-tax freeze.

There wouldn’t be time to move the legislation to the House before Tuesday’s end to the current legislative session. Althoff says it would be a Senate statement of intent before the new legislature convenes on Wednesday.

Cullerton spokesman John Patterson declined comment Sunday night.

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1:20 p.m.

With the two-year budget standoff looming large, Illinois lawmakers return to the capital city Monday for two days to finish work before a new session begins Wednesday.

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner said Friday that Democrats and Republicans in the Senate had been crafting a compromise spending plan. But he had no details and warned it was not finalized.

House Deputy Majority Leader Lou Lang of Skokie says if Rauner is willing to deal, a budget agreement could be worked out before the 100th General Assembly begins its work midweek.

In the Senate, Assistant Republican Leader Sue Rezin (REH’-zihn) of Morris says she sees a shift toward bipartisanship in talks over ways to improve school funding. She says that bodes well for budget negotiations.

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