- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 17, 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Latest on state budget maneuvering in Springfield (all times local):

6:30 p.m.

The Illinois Senate swept through votes on nine pieces of what’s intended to be a budget compromise and sent seven to the House mostly on majority Democrats’ votes.

But what Democrats considered a day of progress Wednesday showed mixed results. Democrats who control the General Assembly have been mired in a two-year budget stalemate with Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.

The Senate adopted a $36.5 billion budget plan. But it but failed to approve language that authorizes its implementation and billions of dollars in spending cuts.

The legislation is part of the so-called “grand bargain” Democrats and Republicans have been negotiating all spring.

Republicans started the day seeking more time to continue negotiating. Their reluctance to proceed showed in the defeat of a property tax freeze Rauner insists on. And legislation covering another Rauner demand for cost-saving to the workers’ compensation system wasn’t called for a vote.

Senate President John Cullerton says he’ll send the approved bills to the House.



The Senate has approved a $36.5 billion budget that was initiated by minority Republicans. But it turned down authority to implement it.

The Democratic-controlled chamber voted 31-21 to approve the proposed outlay for the year that begins July 1.

The vote looked like a breakthrough after five months of wrangling over the so-called “grand bargain” budget compromise.

But it was quickly followed by a vote on authority to implement the budget. It failed by three votes, 27-24.

The budget proposal was introduced by Assistant Republican Leader Bill Brady of Bloomington. Senate President John Cullerton of Chicago put the plan up for a vote. He urged action because of frustration over lack of progress.

The plan would spend about $1 billion less than the one Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner proposed. Democrats boasted the two sides had negotiated $3.7 billion in spending cuts.

The state has been without an annual budget since 2015. The session is scheduled to end May 31.


3 p.m.

The Illinois Senate has rejected a two-year property tax freeze.

The Democratic offer to meet Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s demand for tax relief for local homeowners is one of the measures that is part of the “grand bargain” budget compromise. Disagreements between Democrats, who control the General Assembly, and Rauner has kept the state from having an annual spending plan for two years.

The vote was 32-11. But it required an extraordinary majority of 36 votes because it would overrule home-rule governance for larger cities.

Rauner had insisted on a permanent property tax freeze. Property taxes are the primary way public schools are funded.

Republicans had suggested recently they’d be willing to accept a temporary freeze. But Rauner and GOP senators rejected only a two-year freeze.


2:45 p.m.

The Illinois Senate has begun voting on legislation that makes up the so-called “grand bargain” budget compromise.

Senate Democrats and Republicans devised the wide-ranging plan to try to break a two-year spending-plan stalemate between Democrats who control the Legislature and GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner.

They include a tax increase but lots of changes in law that Rauner has demanded. But each piece was supposed to be linked, so that none of the measures took effect unless all did. Frustrated Democrats changed those rules. Republicans wanted to keep negotiating but Democrats are moving ahead with votes on measures that stand alone.

Republican Leader Christine Radogno (ruh-DOHN’-yoh) of Lemont (lih-MAHNT’) says GOP members will only vote in favor of measures on which they’ve solidified agreement with Democrats.

The Senate has overwhelmingly approved non-contentious measures to encourage local government consolidation and streamlining for state purchasing processing.


10:20 a.m.

Top Senate Republicans are pleading for more time to negotiate pieces of a sweeping budget package as the spring legislative session enters its final two weeks.

Deputy Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady of Bloomington told a Statehouse news conference Wednesday that a Democratic plan to forge ahead with votes on individual pieces of the so-called “grand bargain” could undermine ongoing talks.

The grand bargain is a five-month-old plan hatched by Democratic and Republican leaders to break through two-year stalemate on a state budget between lawmakers and GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner. Sticking points are details about pieces that Rauner demands: Changes to the workers’ compensation system and a local property-tax freeze.

Sen. Karen McConnaughay (mih-KAHN’-uh-haye) of St. Charles says talks are “fluid” but agreement is close. She says voting on the bills without agreement on the whole budget package could hurt chances for success.


4 a.m.

Illinois Senate Democrats plan to vote on the “grand bargain” budget compromise.

Members of the majority party say the Legislature’s May 31 adjournment deadline is looming. They are frustrated at the lack of progress on the compromise package worked out with Republicans. A vote is planned Wednesday.

The sprawling grand bargain was supposed to set a bar for ending a two-year budget stalemate between Democrats controlling the General Assembly and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner. It includes an income-tax increase to tackle a multibillion-dollar deficit and business climate changes Rauner demands.

None of it was supposed to take effect unless it all did. That’s changed. Assistant Majority Leader Donne (DAHN’-nee) Trotter of Chicago says each of the dozen or so bills will be voted on as stand-alone measures.

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