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On 'Grand Bargain,' Senate Democrats Say They've Nothing Left To Concede

There was another setback Wednesday for efforts to end Illinois' budget stalemate.

Senate Democrats attempted a series of test votes on items in the so-called “grand bargain.” But Republicans refused to go along, saying more negotiation is needed to reach a deal they can support.

Senate President John Cullerton says his Democrats have gone as far as they can go in meeting Governor Bruce Rauner’s non-budget demands.

He says Rauner and his team “don’t know how to govern.”

“At some point in time, you have to just agree: ‘OK, let’s make a deal,’" Cullerton said. “And you have to understand the other side and understand how far they can go. And what’s at stake here is a disaster, after the next 20 days, if we don’t have any revenue.”

The Senate Republican Leader, Christine Radogno, says she thinks negotiations should continue.

She says the two sides are close to an agreement on the remaining issues, which include freezing property taxes and changing the system through which people injured on the job are compensated.

Time is running out — this year’s legislative session is scheduled to end May 31st.

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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