- Associated Press - Thursday, May 25, 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois House Democrats are taking their time in considering the state budget plan sent them this week by the Senate.

Chicago Rep. Greg Harris is the Democrats’ budget negotiator. He says lawmakers’ first goal is to review the $39.7 billion spending plan and put it in a form the public can understand.

The House plans hearings to solicit public input despite the looming May 31 scheduled adjournment date for the General Assembly.

The Senate relied solely on Democratic votes Tuesday to approve the spending outline and a $5.4 billion increase in the income tax and a broadened state sales tax to pay for it.

The state has been without a budget for two years. Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner says he still needs business-climate changes approved to sign a budget.

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