The Latest: GOP, Democrats say progress made in budget talks
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- The Latest on Illinois lawmakers' fight over a stopgap budget and school funding plan for the new fiscal year that begins Friday (all times local):
Legislative leaders say they made progress on a stopgap spending plan during a lengthy meeting with Gov. Bruce Rauner, and they plan to reconvene on Wednesday to keep trying to work out a deal.
The Republican governor met for nearly three hours Tuesday night with Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton and GOP leaders Sen. Christine Radogno and Rep. Jim Durkin.
None of the lawmakers would outline their discussions afterward. But Madigan told reporters it was a productive day and he's "optimistic." Cullerton said it's "exciting that we're this close."
Durkin agreed progress had been made, but Radogno said "caution is always in order."
Lawmakers return to Springfield on Wednesday to try to pass legislation to fund schools and keep government operating when the new fiscal year begins on Friday.
Illinois colleges and universities would receive about $1 billion under stopgap budget plans filed by state Senate Democrats and Republican leaders.
The money for higher education appears to be one area of agreement in the rival proposals introduced Tuesday.
Both plans include $151 million for grants to help students pay tuition for spring semester 2016. Many students and colleges had planned on the funds, but never received them because of the ongoing budget impasse.
The proposals also provide money for career and technical education and for the Illinois Math and Science Academy.
Lawmakers are returning to Springfield on Wednesday. They'll consider competing GOP and Democratic plans to keep schools and other government services operating when Illinois enters a new fiscal year Friday.
Republican leaders have filed legislation to fund schools and other government operations as Illinois heads toward a second year without a full state budget.
Sen. Christine Radogno and Rep. Jim Durkin introduced bills Tuesday that increase funding for K-12 education by more than $240 million. No school district loses money under the plan. Funding for Chicago Public Schools remains level.
Senate Democrats' plan increases money for schools by about $760 million and sends about $400 million more to CPS.
That will be a major sticking point when lawmakers return to Springfield on Wednesday.
Gov. Bruce Rauner calls the additional money a "bailout." Democrats say their plan treats CPS the same as other districts.
The GOP stopgap budget provides $1 billion for colleges and money for prisons, social services and other programs.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says Gov. Bruce Rauner has wasted 18 months in office and is now "doubling down" on a school funding formula that rewards wealthy children while penalizing poor kids.
In a statement Tuesday, Emanuel says the Republican governor has held Illinois hostage by trying to weaken unions and reduce the cost of workers' compensation insurance. He says Rauner should have been "doing the hard work of fixing Illinois' broken education funding formula."
Rauner has criticized majority Democrats for trying to pass a school funding bill that provides hundreds of millions more in state funding to Chicago Public Schools. Rauner calls it a "bailout."
Supporters say the proposal treats CPS the same as every other Illinois school district by having the state cover the cost of teacher pensions.
Gov. Bruce Rauner is pushing a stopgap budget to fund schools, universities and other state services amid an ongoing fight with Democrats who run the Legislature.
The Republican on Tuesday ripped a Democratic plan to fund schools in the new fiscal year that begins Friday, repeating criticism that it amounts to a "bailout" of Chicago Public Schools. Democrats argue their plan treats Chicago schools the same as every other Illinois district.
Rauner says Republican legislative leaders plan to file their own proposals Tuesday.
They would fund K-12 education, road construction and other programs for a full year even if lawmakers don't agree on a new state budget by a Thursday night deadline.
Lawmakers return to Springfield Wednesday for the first time after adjourning their spring session without approving a budget.