The Latest: Senate GOP says budget plan not ready

AP News
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Posted: Mar 01, 2017 9:34 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Latest on Illinois Senate action (all times local):

7:40 p.m.

Top Illinois Senate Republicans say they can't support a proposed budget compromise because it's still not ready.

Democratic Senate President John Cullerton canceled action on the plan Wednesday. He blamed Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner for sabotaging the plan before votes on an income tax increase, a property tax freeze, and other crucial measures.

Deputy Republican Leader Bill Brady of Bloomington sees progress but says a property tax freeze must be permanent — not temporary. Sen. Karen McConnaughay (mih-KAHN'-uh-hay) of St. Charles dismissed Democrats' claims that Rauner pressured them.

Bloomington Republican Sen. Jason Barickman says a proposal to revamp school funding also needs more work before a vote.

Cullerton and Republican Leader Christine Radogno (ruh-DOHN'-yoh) of Lemont have engineered the plan to try to break a two-year budget stalemate between Rauner and lawmakers.

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6:45 p.m.

Illinois Senate President John Cullerton says the next move on a stalled budget compromise belongs to Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner. The Chicago Democrat says of Rauner: "He's got to grow up."

Cullerton said Wednesday he called off votes on an income-tax increase and property-tax freeze after GOP Leader Christine Radogno (ruh-DOHN'-yoh) told him her caucus wasn't on board.

Cullerton accused Rauner of peeling off Republican support.

The deal had been negotiated for months between Cullerton and Radogno. It was meant to broker a way out of a two-year budget stalemate between Rauner and Democrats who control the Legislature.

Rauner's office put out a statement saying the plan doesn't go far enough.

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5:40 p.m.

The Senate's top Democrat announced that Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner is opposed to the budget compromise under construction and abruptly adjourned for the day.

Senate President John Cullerton of Chicago had planned to call crucial pieces of the so-called "grand bargain" Wednesday. But Republicans and Democrats spent most of the day in private caucus meetings.

When the chamber reconvened late in the afternoon, Cullerton announced "the governor has injected himself into this process sand doesn't want this approved in this form."

Republican Leader Christine Radogno (ruh-DOHN'-yoh) of Lemont did not dispute Cullerton. But she said she is confident the governor will work with lawmakers to solve the two-year budget deadlock.

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4 a.m.

The Illinois Senate faces its toughest votes in brokering an end to the state's budget deadlock.

A legislative package negotiated by Democrats and Republicans in the Senate finally started moving Tuesday. But the votes were non-contentious. They approved streamlining state purchasing and giving cities more control over tax revenue.

Key issues will face a roll call Wednesday after the Senate convenes. They include increasing the income tax from 3.75 percent to 4.99 percent and establishing a local property tax freeze. The property tax freeze is one issue Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner has demanded as part of a budget deal during a two-year stalemate over an annual spending plan.

The other looming vote will be over a plan to revamp school funding and make distribution of aid to schools more fair.